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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Michael McCurry


The purpose of this study was to examine the sampling error found in the 2012 Quality of Life Survey conducted by the Sociology and Rural Studies Department at South Dakota State University. A total of 6,000 surveys were sent based on randomly selected mailing addresses throughout South Dakota. Rural counties and American Indian majority counties were oversampled with 2,000 surveys mailed to rural counties and 2,000 surveys mailed to American Indian majority counties. Despite the effort to collect more accurate data from the American Indian population, the population witnessed an under representation. After the distribution of the survey for counties in which a reservation resided, the sample was specified from county to zip code to more readily identify American Indian majority populations. In counties identified as being composed primarily of American Indians, the towns within the counties that had a large concentration of American Indians had a smaller likelihood of selection for the survey than did the white majority populated towns. Rather, even as counties could be identified as having an American Indian majority population, towns within these counties which had white majority population had a higher likelihood of receiving the survey.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Social surveys -- South Dakota
Quality of life -- South Dakota -- Public opinion
Indians of North America -- South Dakota -- Population Census undercounts


Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-56)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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