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The proportion of the intended referential universe that is represented (on a weighted basis) in the sampling frame of a survey is referred to as the coverage rate. Unit coverage refers to how extensively the units (e.g., households, schools, businesses) in the universe are “covered” by (i.e. included in) the sampling frame, which includes the dynamic process whereby an enumerator (lister) or interviewer decides whether a household or person should be included in the frame.

For purposes of setting public policy, it is generally considered desirable to hear the voices of a broad swath of the public. Even in voter intention surveys, pollsters are more confident in their predictions if their screening survey for likely voters covers most of society. As such, survey researchers should strive ...

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