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2016 AARP Member Opinion Survey

AARP Members Opinion Survey Issue Spotlights highlight the needs and wants of our members on a variety of topics.

Work: While half of all AARP members are retired, many AARP members are working or looking for work. The concerns of the experienced worker are unique and understanding this population helps AARP provide them needed programs and support.

For more information, please contact either John Fries or

Current Issue Spotlight:

About the Member Opinion Survey

Issue Spotlights:

Background and Objectives

Listening to its members in order to better serve them is an important priority for AARP.   Since 1994, AARP has been administering the Member Opinion Survey (MOS) every few years in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of members’ needs, expectation, and experiences. The 2016 MOS covers topics such as:  member experiences and views towards AARP, membership renewal factors, life events, responsibilities, and concerns, internet/technology behaviors, and more.  The results of the 2016 MOS can guide AARP in terms of resource allocation by indicating where the organization is strong and should continue to pursue excellence as well as where members see the need for improvement.

Methodology and Sampling

The 2016 MOS was a modified-Dillman methodology, consisting of multiple contacts by mail where members received an advance notification letter that included a URL and password offering the option to complete either a mailed questionnaire or to go online to complete the survey.  Each subsequent communication contained the survey URL and a unique passcode allowing the option to complete the survey online.  There were up to 5 contacts per member:  advance notification letter, first questionnaire mailing, first reminder postcard, second questionnaire mailing, and second reminder postcard.

The study was conducted from April 7th to July 11th 2016 and covered the entire US, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.  Sampling size was 147,327, stratified by age, state, race and ethnicity.  The mailed surveys were available in both English and Spanish while the online version also offered Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese language options.

Survey Response Rates

A total of 22,839 surveys were completed for an overall national AAPOR response rate of 16% (RR3) and a margin of error of + 1 percent.


Weighting of the MOS was carried out in two stages using administrative data and parameters from the AARP Member Database available for the sample.  The first stage adjusted for the initial stratification done during the sampling phase while the second stage adjusted for nonresponse and post-stratified the final sample so as to provide a representative sample of AARP Members both nationally and within each state.  Stage 1 of the weighting process utilized a traditional matrix weight to adjust for the initial stratification by state, age, and race/ethnicity.  The second stage of the weighting process (Stage 2) employed RIM weighting for each state sub-sample that incorporated age, gender, times AARP Membership has been renewed, political ideology, population density, AARP product and service engagement, availability of an e-mail address, and “Life Stage Segment” (age and affluence).  This approach yielded a final weighted data set that very closely matches the AARP membership as represented by the AARP Membership Database on the items considered, as well as providing correction on other characteristics not directly included in the weighting (see Full Methodology).

For a more detailed information about the 2016 MOS, please contact John Hagerty at

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