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Table 1 Examples of probability sampling methods for sub-populations in the absence of sampling frames

From: Surveying immigrants without sampling frames – evaluating the success of alternative field methods

Suitable for (target population)

Type of sampling

Frames of random selection

Further reading (examples)

General population

Random digit dialling

Telephone numbers


General population

Random routes/random walk

List of households, place (time)

Brief overview described in FRA 2009b, p. 11–14

Sub-population/minor domains

Conventional household sampling with focused enumeration

List of households, place (time), clusters defined by selected addresses and adjacent households

E.g. Ipsos MORI, 2010; Erens, 2013, p. 52–53; or FRA, 2009b, p. 14–18

Sub-population/minor domains

Conventional sampling with Adaptive Cluster Sampling

List of households, place (time), clusters of neighbouring households

Verma, 2013

Sub-population/minor domains

Time-location sampling

Place (Time)

Baio et al., 2011

Sub-population/minor domains


Place (Time)

Berry, 2007; Williams, 2010

Total or sub-population/minor domains

GPS based sampling

Place (GPS)

Landry & Shen, 2005

Sub-population/minor or mini domains

Respondent-Driven-Sampling (RDS)


Heckathorn, 1997,

Sub-population/minor or mini domains

Snowball sampling


Goodman, 1961

Sub-population/ethnic minorities/immigrants

Onomastic sampling

Names/telephone book

Schnell et al., 2013