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Investigating a List-based Sampling Approach for ABS Household Surveys
A major initiative underway at the ABS is the construction of an Address Register (AR) to increase our efficiency in producing Census and other population statistics, and to broaden our range of analytical and statistical products.
One particular area of gain is the potential for smarter and more flexible household survey sample designs. Currently, ABS household survey sample designs are constrained by the need to select geographic areas as the first stage of selection. Recently, Household Survey Methodology (HSM) conducted an investigation to explore the types of sample design efficiencies possible for household surveys under a list-based sampling framework. Three main areas of potential gain were investigated:
The results from the HSM investigation show that a list-based sampling framework for household surveys is worth further investment, and would have major benefits for sample efficiencies if a list-frame was augmented by auxiliary information that could be used in design and estimation. While previously the use of auxiliary information has been constrained to the areal level, an AR enables us to also utilise address or person-level auxiliary data for design and estimation. Specific findings include:
It is believed that an AR can help the ABS Household Survey Program achieve ABS goals of reduced costs (and time) and growing the business through new statistical products and services. However, the implementation of the AR needs to be considered holistically along with other initiatives in the wider household program. For example, moves are afoot to introduce an internet mode of collection for the Monthly Population Survey, as well as the consideration of moving surveys to a more integrated approach (such as an omnibus survey vehicle). Other current areas of investigation across the wider household survey program could include an evaluation of a greater use of administrative data (across both the design and analysis phases).
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