Selecting a scientific national sample of Native Americans and Alaska Natives is difficult for at least four reasons: (1) they are a small proportion of the total population, (2) they are not so segregated that geographic oversampling can reach most of the population, (3) criteria for deciding who is a member of the Native American and Alaska Native population are not well defined, and (4) they are so culturally diverse that subclass estimates may be of equal or greater importance than overall estimates. The goal of this paper is to identify key design choices a statistician must face when selecting a sample of these populations, and to discuss alternative strategies. I also provide commentary on sampling plans that have been used for previous surveys, and explain why these plans, while sufficient for the purposes of their particular surveys, do not provide general solutions. Of particular importance is a careful definition of the study population. For example, some studies would focus on the reservation population, others would focus on persons listed on tribal rolls, and still others on persons eligible for coverage by the Indian Health Service. The numbers of persons included in all of these groups is far short of the two million Native Americans and Alaska Natives counted in the 1990 Census. I conclude that there is no sampling strategy that is appropriate for all surveys, but also provide suggestions for certain survey situations.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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