I've already seen this.

For someone who has a mathematical mindset and is starting a graduate program in stats, what is a good text on survey sampling? If it comes with R code samples, that would be a plus.

I have absolutely no background in survey sampling other than knowing what a SRS is (so I don't know if knowing calculus-based statistics and/or having a mathematical mindset helps), and if I need to use those texts above, I can use them and delete this question.


Sampling: Design and Analysis by Sharon Lohr (quoted in your link) is probably the easiest book. Thomas Lumley's "Survey analysis in R" is even easier, but it doesn't show you the theories.

To judge whether you're ok to read the book by Lohr, do you know?

  • Sample mean vs Population mean?
  • Central limit theorem?
  • Normal distribution?
  • Variance vs standard deviation?

If you don't, you should start off by reading a general statistic book. If you do, start reading the Lohr book!

The Kish book is a classic but old. Not really suitable for beginners. It goes into the theory deeper than the other two books I mention. However, I don't like the notation and the book doesn't explain the concepts as clear as Lohr.

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  • $\begingroup$ After you are done with Lohr and you still have interest in survey statistics. You should have sufficient foundation to jump into other more detailed survey topics, I would suggest "Small Area Estimation" from J.N.K. Rao, Wolter's "Introduction to Variance Estimation", and "Statistical Analysis With Missing Data" by Little and Rubin. If you are also into sample designs I would recommend "Model Assisted Survey Sampling" by Sarndal et al. If you really want to jump off the theoretical deep-end, you can check out Fuller's "Sampling Statistics". $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Lisic Feb 23 '17 at 16:44

I was going to recommend Sampling: Design and Analysis by Sharon Lohr, but it was already mentioned. Not much heavy on math, it's an easy intro book that covers most of the basic topics and uses plots and pictures to build on intuition.

A more mathy book is Cochran Sampling Techniques. It's more comprehensive and it has a deeper treatment of the topics. It reads as a dry math book: definition, theorem, proofs.

Finally, there's Survey Sampling by Kish. I have personally no experience with it, but both Kish and his books are always well regarded. I believe Kish comes from the experimental design field, and the book may look too "spoken" (it relies more on words than formulae).

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