Summary. We analyse household unit non-response in six major UK Government surveys by using a multilevel multinomial modelling approach. The models are guided by current conceptual frameworks and theories of survey participation. One key feature of the analysis is the investigation of the extent to which effects of household characteristics are survey specific. The analysis is based on the 2001 UK Census Link Study, which is a unique source of data containing an unusually rich set of auxiliary variables. The study contains the response outcome of six surveys, linked to census data and interviewer observations for both respondents and non-respondents.