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4326.0.30.002 - Technical Manual: National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Confidentialised Unit Record Files, 2007 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Reliability of estimates >> SAMPLE SURVEY ERRORS


Two types of error are possible in estimates based on a sample survey:

  • sampling error; and
  • non-sampling error .

Sampling error occurs because only a small proportion of the total population is used to produce estimates that represent the whole population. Sampling error can be reliably measured as it is calculated based on the scientific methods used to design surveys.

Non-sampling error may occur in any data collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full-count (eg Census). Non-sampling error may occur at any stage throughout the survey process, examples include: non-response by selected persons, questions being misunderstood, responses being incorrectly recorded, and errors in coding or processing the survey data. More detailed information on sample survey errors, including sampling error, non-sampling error and response rates is provided in Chapter 10 (Interpretation of results) of the Users' Guide.

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