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How is polling done around the world?

Pew Research Center conducts polls in many countries other than the United States. But the methodology behind our international surveys can vary from country to country, and what works in one place might not work in another.

In the latest installment of our Methods 101 video series, we look at some of the challenges of international polling. These include government restrictions on survey work, political or social instability that can make it unsafe for interviewers to do their jobs, and a lack of qualified partners who can help administer surveys locally.

The way we conduct interviews can vary by country, too: In some places, we ask people questions over the phone, while in others, face-to-face meetings are best.

An especially important consideration when conducting an international survey is to make sure questions are translated correctly into the local language or languages, and that important nuances aren’t lost. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to work with local experts who can help ensure survey questions are worded as accurately as possible.