7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Dina Neiger

Dina is a professional statistician with over 20 years of experience and a track record of achievement in leadership and technical roles at the Social Research Centre, Monash University, Australian Bureau of Statistics, and Biostatistics and Clinical Trials Centre at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Dina’s statistical interests include the use of calibration and blending methods to improve accuracy of the non-probability samples, establishment and maintenance of the first Australian Online Probability panel and complex business survey design and weighting. Throughout her career she has worked through every stage of statistical data collection including design, system development, contact with respondents, data editing, estimation and output, in a wide variety of domains including demographic, labour, business and price index statistics. Dina’s educational background includes 1st Class Honours degree in Statistics and PhD in Business Systems from
Monash University with an emphasis in applied Operations Research and Process Engineering. Dina is Accredited Statistician (AStat) member of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) and is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).


Telephone coverage of the Australian population

We provide an overview of the correlates of telephone use in Australia and their implications for telephone surveys using data from the National Health Survey (NHS) 2017-18. The NHS is an in-person survey of Australian households (excluding very remote areas) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It includes questions on landline and mobile status. These questions provide insight into the correlates of telephone usage. The presentation examines age, state, Indigenous status, migrant status, education, area-level socio-economic status, housing tenure, smoking status and alcohol use. As is well known, age is strongly associated with telephone usage. By 2017-18, mobile coverage was sufficiently high that mobile-only was sufficient for general population surveys unless estimates of the age 75+ cohort were required. We identify low landline coverage in the Northern Territory and among Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders, recent migrants, renters, current smoker and people at risk from alcohol consumption. The presentation will also review the likely impacts of the continuing shift to mobile phones identified in the ACMA Communications Report.

Optimal sample designs for sub-national general population telephone surveys

Dual frame surveys using mobile and landline telephone numbers have been the predominant method of sampling for CATI interview studies in Australia for several years now, however neither frame is without its problems. Landline telephones can only be used to access 49% of the population, with coverage heavily skewed towards older age groups. Mobile telephones are not inherently linked to a geographic location meaning that obtaining geographically targeted samples is expensive, often prohibitively so. Commercial sample providers have recently improved their offering for “listed” mobile phone numbers with geographical information attached, however these lists also have coverage errors particularly for younger age groups. This presentation reports on work carried out for a large state-level survey to determine an optimum blend of sample sources including listed and RDD mobile phones alongside landline sample. The survey is state-wide, but includes a sample quotas for each of the 79 LGAs in the state, so requires a large degree of geographical targeting. Several simulations were carried out using a variety of different sample mixes to determine the most cost-effective solution.