Lifestyle surveys usually use some form of stratified
random sampling. The sampling frame most commonly used
is the local database of residents registered with a GP.
These databases provide and excellent vehicle for
stratifying your sample in a very practical way.
- Step 1: Decide on the stratification factors you
think are most appropriate in your survey. These
might be electoral ward, age or gender; or some
combination of these.
- Step 2: Say you have chosen to stratify by age.
Order the database (think of it as a long list) by
age or age group – youngest at the top, oldest at
- Step 3: Select systematically down the
list. For example (depending on the required sample
size), select every 20th person from the list. The
sample selected will then have the right proportion
of residents from each age (or age band). So for
example, if 20% of the database is over 65, then 20%
of the sample will be over 65
A further example of using this method for producing
a stratified random sample can be
The Resource Bank
on this site provides reports from
many lifestyle surveys conducted in the UK. To see two
case studies from lifestyle surveys, showing sampling
method, sample size and response rate, click here.
Short Case Studies
To see two case studies of lifestyle surveys, showing
their sampling method, sample size and response rates,
Sampling Methods Used
The Resource Bank on this site includes details and
reports from many Lifestyle Surveys conducted in the UK. For a summary of these providing details of the sampling