Sampling and surveying hard-to-reach populations for demographic research: A study of female labor migrants in Moscow, Russia

Victor Agadjanian, Natalya Zotova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Because household-based survey designs are notoriously ineffective in studying hard-to-reach groups such as irregular migrants, these groups, however numerically large they may be, are rarely represented in demographic analyses. In this article, we report on the application of a workplace-based stratified probability sampling design (a variant of the time-location sampling approach), response rate, and item-specific refusals in a study of irregular female migrants from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan working in bazaars, eateries, and small retail outlets in Moscow, Russia. We argue that the workplace-based survey approach, while not flawless, provides a uniquely feasible and cost-effective tool for studying irregular migrants and similar hard-to-reach populations in metropolitan settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
JournalDemographic Research
StatePublished - Mar 19 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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