Surveying immigrants without sampling frames – evaluating the success of alternative field methods
journal contributionposted on 09.01.2017, 11:16 by D. Reichel, Laura Morales
This paper evaluates the sampling methods of an international survey, the Immigrant Citizens Survey, which aimed at surveying immigrants from outside the European Union (EU) in 15 cities in seven EU countries. In five countries, no sample frame was available for the target population. Consequently, alternative ways to obtain a representative sample had to be found. In three countries ‘location sampling’ was employed, while in two countries traditional methods were used with adaptations to reach the target population. The paper assesses the main methodological challenges of carrying out a survey among a group of immigrants for whom no sampling frame exists. The samples of the survey in these five countries are compared to results of official statistics in order to assess the accuracy of the samples obtained through the different sampling methods. It can be shown that alternative sampling methods can provide meaningful results in terms of core demographic characteristics although some estimates differ to some extent from the census results.