Volume 2, Issue 1 March 7, 2002

Volume 2, Issue 1
March 7, 2002

American Public is Concerned about National Security Issues but Satisfied with Federal Governments Efforts

Nine out of 10 Americans are concerned about terrorism threats to travel, but about the same number are satisfied with the federal governments efforts on those issues (Figure 1), according to a Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) survey. BTS polled 1,000 households during October 2001 and February 2002 as part of the BTS Omnibus Survey, a monthly survey.

Americans three top security concerns are about:

  • the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by air outside the U.S.;
  • keeping computerized systems like air traffic control secure from terrorism; and
  • the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by air inside the U.S.

At the same time they expressed satisfaction with the federal governments efforts on the issues.

While nine out of 10 Americans expressed concern about the transport of illegal drugs and illegal immigration across U.S. borders, fewer respondents were satisfied with the federal governments efforts. More than one out of three were not satisfied.

Three out of four Americans said they were concerned about the risk of terrorism against Americans traveling by highway, train or public transit inside the U.S. Almost nine out of 10 said they were satisfied with the federal government's efforts.

Source and Accuracy Statements

Data presented in this issue of OmniStats are taken from several issues of the BTS Omnibus Household Survey. Data are preliminary and are subject to change. The target population for the survey is the US non-institutionalized adult population (18 years of age or older). Results are based on a completed sample of 1000+ households that are randomly selected using a list-assisted random digit dialing (RDD) methodology. The findings summarized in this report are estimates derived from a sample survey. Sample surveys contain two major components of error-sampling and nonsampling error.

Sampling Error. Sampling error occurs because findings are based on a sample, rather than on the entire population. The total respondent pool for the Omnibus Survey is 1,000+ for an estimated sampling error of about ±3% at the 95% confidence level. Sampling error will be larger for sample subgroups (such as males or disabled persons) and for survey items that do not apply to all members of the sample (e.g. sample members who flew on a commercial airline during the 30 days prior to the survey). Standard error estimates for each Omnibus Survey item are available on the BTS website for the Omnibus Survey at http://www.bts.gov/omnibus/household/index.html. After selecting the month of interest, choose "Marginal Frequency Distributions."

Nonsampling Error. Estimates are subject to various errors during the survey process, such as data collection, response coding, transcription, and data editing errors. These errors would also occur if a complete census was conducted under the same conditions as the sample survey. Explicit measures of the effects of these errors are not available. However, stringent quality control procedures were followed during data entry and the questionnaire was reviewed and pretested in an effort to minimize nonsampling errors associated with data entry and questionnaire design. Nonresponse error is a function of both the nonresponse rate and the differences, if any, between respondents and nonrespondents

Please contact the following individuals for additional information about:
the survey: lori.putman@bts.gov
this report: june.jones@bts.gov
press contact: david.smallen@bts.gov