4159.0.55.002 - General Social Survey: User Guide, Australia, 2014  
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RESPONSE RATES AND SAMPLE ACHIEVED

The initial sample selection of approximately 18,574 private dwellings was reduced to approximately 16,145 dwellings due to the loss of households that had no residents in scope for the survey and where dwellings proved to be vacant, under construction or derelict. Of the eligible dwellings remaining, 80.1% responded fully (or adequately), which yielded a total sample from the survey of 12,932 dwellings. The following table shows the number of fully responding households achieved for each state and territory, and the corresponding response rate achieved in the 2014 GSS.



2014 GSS SAMPLE AND RESPONSE RATES
NSW
Vic.
QLD
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Fully responding sample achieved (a)
2 054
1 745
1 811
1 541
1 558
1 692
1 000
1 531
12 932
Response rate (b) (%)
72.0
71.4
87.8
83.2
86.4
87.0
82.4
77.6
80.1

(a) Includes fully or adequately responding dwellings
(b) Of eligible dwellings, excluding sample loss


Comparability with 2010 GSS

Consistent with the aim of exploring the relative outcomes of people vulnerable to socio-economic disadvantage, the 2014 GSS sampling methodology targeted sample from low socio-economic areas, although the targeting was less extreme than it was for the 2010 GSS. For the 2010 GSS sample design the 2006 Census was used to target areas with higher concentrations of households experiencing multiple disadvantage, using additional benchmarks in the weighting process to compensate for the over sampling. In 2014, the GSS sample design utilised the Master Sample's layer of income-based socio-economic stratification to over-sample the low socio-economic strata relative to other strata. Selection areas were stratified by State, Part of State (Capital City/Balance of State) and then by the Socio-economic level, defined as follows:
  • Low socio-economic stratum: for each State by Part of State group, the 20% of Base Frame Units (BFUs) with the highest proportion of low income households (weekly total Equivalised Household Income < $400) were put into the low socio-economic stratum. All of these BFUs had a proportion of low income households above some threshold. The threshold was different for each State by Part of State group, but was typically a proportion of between 0.25 and 0.4. BFUs on the Household Sample Frame were classified using Census 2011 weekly total Equivalised Household Income.
  • High socio-economic stratum: a high income household was defined as having weekly total Equivalised Household Income > $1250. For each State by Part of State group, the 20% of BFUs (excluding those already assigned in step 1) with the highest proportion of high income households were put into the high socio-economic stratum. All of these BFUs had a proportion of high income households above some threshold. The threshold was different for each state by part of state, but was typically between 0.3 and 0.45 for metropolitan and between 0.2 and 0.3 for ex-metropolitan.
  • Medium socio-economic stratum: the remaining 60% of BFUs were assigned to the medium socio-economic stratum. These BFUs do not contain a high proportion of either high or low income households.
In the 2014 GSS, people from the lowest strata had a higher probability of being selected in the sample.

The sample sizes differed between the 2014 and 2010 GSS. As noted above, the number of fully or adequately responding households achieved in the survey was 12,932 in 2014, compared with 15,028 for the 2010 cycle. The 2014 GSS had a smaller initial sample size (18,574 possible dwellings) compared with the 2010 initial sample size (19,576 possible dwellings). The achieved response rate was also lower in 2014 (80.1%) than in 2010 (87.6%), with a higher rate of survey non-response from eligible households in 2014 compared with 2010. These differences in sample size for 2014 and 2010 should be considered when comparing results. The following table shows the number of fully responding households achieved for each state and territory, and the corresponding response rate achieved in the 2010 GSS.

2010 GSS SAMPLE AND RESPONSE RATES
NSW
Vic.
QLD
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Fully responding sample achieved (a)
2 166
2 143
1 966
1 738
1 911
1 951
1 243
1 910
15 028
Response rate (b) (%)
81.3
80.4
88.4
90.1
93.4
94.4
88.5
88.4
87.6

(a) Includes fully or adequately responding dwellings
(b) Of eligible dwellings, excluding sample loss