Information by Design
Lifestyle Survey Toolkit

Sampling Methods

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 the bottom.
  • 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 found here.

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, click here.

Review of 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 methods
used, click here.