I. Main Contents
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II. Sources of Data on the Living Conditions of Urban Residents
Data on the living condition of urban residents come from the data collected through a sample survey on the urban households conducted by the Department of Urban Social and Economic Survey of the NBS. The main contents of the survey include persons in the household and the household composition; cash income and expenditure of the household; quantity of major commodities purchased and expenditure; the employment of household members; the housing condition; and the possession of durable consumer goods.
III. Methodology for Urban Household Survey
Urban household survey is organized by the Department of Urban Social and Economic Survey, NBS. The NBS survey offices in the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government as well as the survey offices in selected cities and counties are responsible for collecting data in accordance with the survey scheme stipulated by the NBS and submitting the data to the offices at higher levels.
The survey had covered only non-farm households until 2001. Starting from 2002, the survey covers the households in district areas of all city and county towns.
Sample cities and towns in urban areas are selected by using stratified random sampling method. Firstly, all the urban areas and towns of all provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) are stratified into three strata according to population size: large and medium-sized cities (at and above prefecture level), county cities and county towns; secondly, the sample size is decided by proportion of population in selected stratus to the provincial total; thirdly, cities and towns are arranged in ranking the annual average wages of the employed persons, then with the accumulative population in each city and town sample cities and towns are selected by systematic sampling scheme according to the size of the samples.
The selection of sample households in urban areas is done by two steps: the first step is to have a one-off large sample survey; the second step is to select a small sample from the large sample to be used as regular sample households for diaries.
The large sample survey is conducted for every three years; the objective is to provide sample frame for regular surveys and basic information for data evaluation of regular surveys. In the large sample survey, samples in sample cities and towns are selected by systematic sampling method schemes, such as two-phase sampling and stratifying method, two-stage (multi) method and probability proportional to size (PPS) method. Namely, stratification is done at district level, and then PPS systematic sampling method is used to select sample communities/resident’s committees, finally the same method is used to select dwellings from the selected districts/resident’s committees. In some large cities, three-stage sampling method is used. First, the communities/resident’s committees are selected. Secondly, sample districts are selected. Thirdly, sample dwellings are selected. A survey will be conducted to the large samples or the first phase samples to collect relevant information on household population, persons employed, income and so on. Then grouping is made based on the information collected, small samples or the second phase samples are selected according to proportions which are regular sample households to keep diary.
The national sample included 59,000 households at the end of 2007.
IV. Sources of Data on the Living Conditions of Rural Residents
Data on the living conditions of rural residents come from data collected through the sample survey on rural households, which is organized by the Department of Rural Social and Economic Survey, NBS. The main contents of the survey include the basic condition of rural households, housing conditions, income, consumption expenditure, consumption of major consumer goods and the quantity of durable consumer goods owned.
V. Methodology for Rural Household Survey
Sample survey on rural households is conducted by first selecting sampled villages and then selecting households in the selected villages in each province, with all rural households in the province as the population. A combination of various sampling approaches is used to identify a total of 68,000 households selected from 7,100 villages throughout the whole country.
It is required that the sampling error should not exceed ±3%, with a confidence probability as 95%. In order to ensure the accuracy of the survey data on the rural households, two accounts are designed for the respondent households by the Department of Rural Social and Economic Survey, NBS: the cash account and the account on goods in kind. Nearly 10 thousand assistant enumerators have been recruited to help the households keep good accounts and to check on a timely fashion and to and tabulate the data from the survey.
In order to overcome the tedium of respondent households and to ensure that the sample is accurately representative over time and reflects the changing rural social and economic situation, a rotation sampling scheme is implemented by the Department of Rural Social and Economic Survey, NBS. A complete cycle of rotation is 5 years.