Improving population and sub-group coverage: who is missing and what can be done about it?

Publication type

Understanding Society Working Paper Series

Series Number



Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Publication date

December 11, 2019


Sufficient coverage of all key subgroups of the population that the survey aims to represent is one of the important aspects of the representativeness of the sample. There are, however, different understandings of coverage (Kruskal and Mosteller 1979). In this report we look at the Understanding Society sample coverage in relation to two aspects: first, the extent to which the sample mirrors the UK population in terms of some key characteristics; and second, the extent to which the sample of particular subgroups is large enough to enable meaningful analysis. In particular, we discuss the coverage of hard-to-reach groups, known to be commonly under-represented in surveys. 


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