RTI International’s Address-Based Sampling Atlas Drop points

By Ashley Elaine Amaya

The Computerized Delivery Sequence (CDS) file contains listings for nearly all addresses in the United States. Survey researchers use the CDS as a sampling frame from which to draw an address-based sample (ABS). More than 700,000 addresses on the CDS are marked as drop points, which are mail receptacles shared by multiple housing units (drop units). Drop points are a challenge to sample and present a potential source of error because of their "one-to-many" relationships. Several techniques have been developed to overcome this challenge, including deleting them from the frame or sampling all units at a given drop point. This paper serves as an introduction to these challenges, discusses the pros and cons to each "solution," and provides a list of best practices.


Amaya, A. E. (2017). RTI International’s Address-Based Sampling Atlas: Drop points. (RTI Press Publication No. OP-0047-1712). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2017.op.0047.1712

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Ashley Elaine AmayaAshley Amaya, PhD, is a research survey methodologist in RTI International’s Survey Research Division.

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