Lessons from a Pilot Study for a National Probability Sample Survey of Chinese Adults Focusing on Internal Migration

Donald J. Treiman, University of California, Los Angeles
Yi Pan, University of California, Los Angeles
Yaqiang Qi, University of California, Los Angeles
Shige Song, Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Doing survey research in China has become increasingly problematic due to large scale social change. Surveys in China conventionally have sampled from population registers. But a combination of large scale internal migration and massive replacement of housing in urban areas has resulted in a large fraction of the population not living where they are registered and thus not being included in survey samples. This paper reports the results of a pilot study designed to test the feasibility and effectiveness of an alternative sampling method—sampling small areas through conventional multi-stage procedures but then doing a complete enumeration of individuals in each small area and sampling from the enumeration list. Effective enumeration is difficult, for reasons discussed in the paper, but is nonetheless a viable strategy for achieving full coverage of the Chinese population.

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Presented in Session 138: Innovative Techniques in Data Collection and Analysis