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COVERAGE (OF DATA SOURCES)

Statistics Directorate    
French Equivalent: Couverture

Definition:
Coverage specifies the population from which observations for a particular topic can be drawn.

Context:
An understanding of coverage is required to facilitate the comparison of data. Coverage issues are often explained through the use of tables showing linkages (e.g. part or full correspondence) and can also be used to explain the ratio of coverage. The rules and conventions of coverage are largely determined by concept definitions, scope rules, information requirements and, in the case of statistical collections and classifications, collection and counting units and the collection methodology (United Nations Glossary of Classification Terms).

Coverage is a term used in sampling in two senses:

(1) to denote the scope of the material collected from the sample members (as distinct from the extent of the survey, which refers to the number of units included);

(2) to mean the extent or area covered by the sampling as in expressions such as "50% coverage", which means that one-half of the population under discussion have been examined (The International Statistical Institute, "The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms", edited by Yadolah Dodge, Oxford University Press, 2003).

Under the SDDS and in SDMX, the term "Coverage" encompasses the key features of the scope of the data disseminated (e.g., geographic, institutional, product, industry sector, occupation, transaction, etc. as well as relevant exceptions and exclusions), which a user must be aware of in order to use and interpret the data appropriately.

Source Publication:
"United Nations Glossary of Classification Terms" prepared by the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications, unpublished on paper.

Cross References:
Coverage (in price indices)
Coverage errors - UN
Coverage ratio
Data
Scope
Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS)

Hyperlink:
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/class/family/glossary_short.asp

Statistical Theme: Quality, statistical

Glossary Output Segments:
SDMX

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Monday, June 10, 2013