Chicago Collar County Project

The Collar County Survey Project is the result of   
NIU Sociology students' efforts to research the   
quality of life in the Collar Counties of Chicago.  
This project is coordinated by Prof. Charles Cappell,  
Dept. of Sociology, as part of his Sociology 476A:  
Survey Methods Course.  


websitemaintained by Charles Cappell. Early contributions by
Liz Burlein.
Direct comments and questions to
    The C3 Survey
    What is the Chicago Collar County Survey? 
    Each year, the Survey Research Course implements a telephone survey, termed the C3 survey, of housholds in the counties surrounding the dity of Chicago.  In 1991, 1992, 1999, and 2000 enough households were interviewed to make the results scientifically creditable.  An adult in the household selectected is querried about the quality of their lives in six broad areas: 1) their evaluations of the performance of their local governments; 2) their experiences with crime and attitudes about neighborhood safety; 3) their experiences at work; 4) the quality of their family life  5) and the quality of their community life. 6) and their individual well-being. Links to the various codebooks for this survey appear in the left panel of this page.  
    How is the study conducted? 
    In the 1991 survey, 340 interviews were completed; in 1992,  545; in 1999, 478, and in 2000, 544.   Random digit dialing of telephone numbers in the area codes outside of Chicago proper was used to construct the sample. All interviews were conducted on a Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing system at NIU's Public Opinion Lab. Exchanges were sampled in proportion to county population figures; and the 1991, 1992 surveys contains respondents from all six counties in approximate proportions to the 1990 county population figures.  In 1999 and 2000, ten surrounding counties were included in the sample. 
    Who is involved in the study? 
    The four Collar County surveys were run in conjunction with a course on Survey Research Methods, taught by Prof. Charles Cappell. This format provided a unique opportunity for advanced undergraduates and graduate students to conduct original survey research on relevant, local sociological topics. Students worked alongside the interviewing staff at the Public Opinion Laboratory using Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing Techniques to survey residents in the Chicago Collar Counties. Each student in Sociology 476A: Survey Methods designed a few questions, conducted some interviews, and analyzed a portion of the results.   
    Who provides funding for the study? 
    In 1991 ,the Social Science Research Institute, the Department of Sociology, and the Graduate Office for Sponsered Research at Northern Illinois University provided a limited amount of "seed funds"for the projects development. Project staff at the SSRI intended the 1991 survey to serve as a pilot project to attract funding on a yearly basis from non-university sources. The 1992 survey was the second of its type. The project is modeled on other successful community area studies, such as the University of Michigan's Detroit Area study. The 1999 and 2000 surveys were funded from the Sociology Quantitative Research Laboratory budget.   

    Why is this project important? 
    Results produced by the C3 project should be of interest to community leaders, suburban planning agencies, news media, and scholars. The questionnaire was developed to be consistent with concerns of previous political and community studies. A few of the sources reviewed in the course of this project are listed in the selected  bibliography.

The C3 Geographical Survey

After the 2000 census data were released, the Chicago Collar County Project has been developing census data that track changes from 1980 to 2000. Our data bases currently contain most of the census data from those years, along with crime statistics for the roughly 250 communities in the 10 county area. We are in the process of developing maps that represent these changes. A few of the earliest thematic maps can be viewed by clicking the C3 GIS link in the left panel of this page.