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Sample Size Adequacy in Surveys

  1. Michael A. Penne,
  2. Paul S. Levy

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a16061

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Penne, M. A. and Levy, P. S. 2005. Sample Size Adequacy in Surveys. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 7.

Author Information

  1. RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


This entry presents concepts involved in determination of sample size adequacy in sample surveys. There is a broad discussion of issues such as stratification, sampling without replacement, finite population corrections, sampling of clusters, sampling in more than one stage, and unequal weighting of observations that have a profound effect on the distribution of estimates and on the sample sizes necessary to construct reliable estimates. We include formulas for determining sample size adequacy for some of the most widely used sample designs and some practical guidelines for statistical consulting on this issue. A set of references to texts and specific articles is included.


  • sample size;
  • simple random sampling;
  • stratified random sampling;
  • cluster sampling;
  • precision;
  • estimation