Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.4, No.3, 1988. pp. 223240

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Regional Presentation–Choice of Region Sizes

In many surveys data are presented for different regions. If these regions are too large the geographical variation is not reflected. If they are too small, the geographical variation cannot be separated from the random variation. We discuss, from a mathematical point of view, the choice of the number and size of regions when the sample is given. We also consider the choice of regions in the sampling phase. Asymptotic expressions for the optimal size of regions are derived for one, two, and higher dimensional regions. It is shown that the number of regions increases as the third root of the sample size in the one-dimensional case and as the square root in the two-dimensional case. Formulas are given for proportional and optimal allocations. The results are applied to three existing and quite different statistical surveys.

Class size; cross-tabulation; geographical partitioning; optimal allocation; region size; spatial statistics; statistical presentation; statistical reporting; stratification.

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