Health Estimates Using Survey Raked-Weighting Techniques in an Australian Population Health Surveillance System

Eleonora Dal Grande, Catherine R. Chittleborough, Stefano Campostrini, Graeme Tucker, Anne W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A challenge for population health surveillance systems using telephone methodologies is to maintain representative estimates as response rates decrease. Raked weighting, rather than conventional poststratification methodologies, has been developed to improve representativeness of estimates produced from telephone-based surveillance systems by incorporating a wider range of sociodemographic variables using an iterative proportional fitting process. This study examines this alternative weighting methodology with the monthly South Australian population health surveillance system report of randomly selected people of all ages in 2013 (n = 7,193) using computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Poststratification weighting used age groups, sex, and area of residence. Raked weights included an additional 6 variables: dwelling status, number of people in household, country of birth, marital status, educational level, and highest employment status. Most prevalence estimates (e.g., diabetes and asthma) did not change when raked weights were applied. Estimates that changed by at least 2 percentage points (e.g., tobacco smoking and mental health conditions) were associated with socioeconomic circumstances, such as dwelling status, which were included in the raked-weighting methodology. Raking methodology has overcome, to some extent, nonresponse bias associated with the sampling methodology by incorporating lower socioeconomic groups and those who are routinely not participating in population surveys into the weighting formula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-556
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Early online date24 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Health estimates
  • nonresponse bias
  • poststratification weighting
  • public health surveillance
  • raked weights
  • telephone surveys


Dive into the research topics of 'Health Estimates Using Survey Raked-Weighting Techniques in an Australian Population Health Surveillance System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this