The stability of household demographics and its implication on household travel survey sampling

Proposed by: Yanzhi Xu

Goal

This paper aims to answer two interrelated questions: first, how stable households’ demographic characteristics are, and second, what this stability implies on the sample size of a longitudinal travel survey.  It studies the household sample collected in Commute Atlanta study, a multi-year travel study program whose study area encompasses thirteen counties in metro Atlanta.  The paper tracks the changes of 282 households recruited from 2003 to 2006.  It focuses on the changes of the household characteristics such as household size, household structure, economic status, vehicle ownership, and households’ willingness to stay in the longitudinal study.

The paper will analyze both the frequency and the magnitude of the changes.  In terms of frequency, the paper will report the number of households where any and each of the above changes have taken place and how often the changes occur.  As for the magnitude of changes, the paper aims to examine how significant these changes are.  Finally the paper will summarize the number of households in each demographic group at different stages of the study.  This information should provide a clear picture for the impact of household stability on sample size.  From here we expect to draw some conclusion on the desired sample size considering the level of household stability observed in Commute Atlanta study for the good of future survey design.

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