12. Cluster and Systematic Sampling

  1. Steven K. Thompson

Published Online: 10 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch12

Sampling, Third Edition

Sampling, Third Edition

How to Cite

Thompson, S. K. (2012) Cluster and Systematic Sampling, in Sampling, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch12

Author Information

  1. Simon Fraser University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 FEB 2012

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Walter A. Shewhart and
  2. Samuel S. Wilks

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470402313

Online ISBN: 9781118162934



  • cluster sampling;
  • primary units;
  • random sampling;
  • systematic sampling


In systematic sampling, a single primary unit consists of secondary units spaced in some systematic fashion throughout the population. In cluster sampling, a primary unit consists of a cluster of secondary units, usually in close proximity to each other. The key point in any of the systematic or clustered arrangements is that whenever any secondary unit of a primary unit is included in the sample, all the secondary units of that primary unit are included. Several common features of systematic and cluster sampling make the designs worth considering as special cases: In systematic sampling, it is not uncommon to have a sample size of 1, that is, a single primary unit. In cluster sampling, the size of the cluster may serve as auxiliary information that may be used either in selecting clusters with unequal probabilities or in forming ratio estimators. The size and shape of clusters may affect efficiency.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

cluster sampling; random sampling; systematic sampling