• Journal Article

The Changing Role of Address-Based Sampling in Survey Research


Iannacchione, V. (2011). The Changing Role of Address-Based Sampling in Survey Research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75(3), 556-575.


Address-Based Sampling (ABS) is increasingly viewed as a potential remedy for the rising costs associated with in-person surveys of the U.S. general population, and for the dwindling coverage associated with telephone surveys. For small and moderate-sized surveys, ABS can help make in-person interviewing a viable mode of data collection. For large-scale studies, ABS can enable the transfer of resources from frame development to activities like training for refusal conversion, an examination of total survey error, or a nonresponse follow-up study. A synthesis of research studies estimating ABS coverage for in-person surveys shows nearly complete coverage of the household population in urban areas and varying degrees of undercoverage in rural areas. Less is known about ABS coverage of non-household populations, such as college students living in dormitories or persons residing in other group quarters. This research suggests the holistic question: Does the expediency of ABS outweigh the undercoverage that may accompany its use? The answer depends on the population being studied, the mode of data collection, and the effectiveness of frame supplementation methods. This article summarizes the current literature on the advantages and challenges of using ABS for in-person surveys as well as for mail and mixed-mode surveys