Two-stage cluster sampling definition

Two-stage cluster sampling means that, first, primary sampling units (PSUs) are selected from each geographical unit (i.e. stratum) and that, second, secondary sampling units (SSUs) are drawn from within each selected PSU. The two-stage sampling design of the Austrian HFCS (see the infographic below) entails, first, selecting a random sample of enumer- ation districts (the smallest geographical unit for which statistical data are available) from each stratum and, second, selecting a random sample of households (postal addresses) from each sampled enumeration district. Unlike during the first wave of the HFCS in Austria, the probability of being drawn during the first stage is proportional to the number of households in the respective PSUs. The households constitute the secondary sampling units (SSUs) and are selected at random from within a drawn PSU. The two-stage cluster design reduces costs due to relatively small distances between the 12 households (8 households in strata with over 50,000 inhabitants) selected within each PSU, while it ensures a sufficient number of PSUs within the individual stratum.

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