PREVIOUS SAMPLE DESIGNS
The basic sampling methodology of the LFS has remained almost the same since the first survey was run in 1960. The main changes in sample design and estimation procedures introduced at each sample design are summarised below.
1971 sample design:
- the introduction of different sampling fractions across states and territories
- a reduction in sample size through reducing the overall sampling fraction from 1 in 100 to about 1 in 150.
1976 sample design:
- the introduction of regional stratification
- the introduction of a one-eighth rotation scheme in the non-private dwelling sample
- an increase in the Australian Capital Territory sampling fraction from 1 in 200 to 1 in 100.
1981 sample design:
- a change in estimation procedure from state/territory of enumeration to state/territory of usual residence
- transfer of caravan parks from the private dwelling sample to the non-private dwelling sample
- reduction of sample fraction in Western Australia from 1 in 90 to 1 in 100, due to population growth.
1986 sample design:
- a reduction in the overall sampling fraction of approximately 13%, resulting in a total initial sample size about 3,000 persons (4%) less than that at the start of the 1981 redesign sample
- changes to certain regional boundaries in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
1991 sample design:
- the introduction of a new allocation formula for state and territory sampling fractions, resulting in an increase in the sampling fractions for Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory and a decrease for states
- transfer of predominantly long-stay caravan parks from the non-private dwelling sample to the private dwelling sample
- changes made to regional boundaries in Victoria and Queensland
- a reduction in the sample size of about 3,000 persons (4%), compared to the start of the 1986 sample design.
1996 sample design:
- improved design efficiency arising from the introduction of telephone interviewing (which enabled selection of a less-clustered design)
- an overall reduction in the sample size of about 1,500 persons (2%) compared with the start of the 1991 sample design.
2001 sample design:
- the introduction of a sample frame for discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to aid enumeration
- a move to Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness structure rather than population density for sample selection in less populated areas
- a change in non-private dwelling enumeration from all hotel and motel units to only those occupied by usual residents
- a small gain in sample efficiency arising from the use of improved information in the technical stages of sample design and of sample selection
- a reduction in the sample size of about 1,500 persons (3%) compared with the initial 1996 sample design.
2006 sample design:
- the inclusion of the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory in the allocation formula for state and territory sampling fractions, resulting in an increase in sample allocation for the Northern Territory and a decrease in sample allocation for states and the Australian Capital Territory
- better identification of expected growth areas in states and territories, resulting in an improved private dwelling sample over time
- significant changes made to regional boundaries in Queensland and minor changes to those in New South Wales
- the introduction of composite estimation with the resulting efficiency gain leading to a reduction in the sample size of about 6,800 persons (11%) compared with the initial 2001 sample design.
Other changes outside of five-yearly sample design:
- July 2008 - as one of a range of ABS savings initiatives for 2008-09, there was a 24% reduction in the LFS sample size. The sample was subsequently restored to its previous size over a four month phase-in period between September and December 2009.