Survey data have been effectively used to provide suitable statistics for the target population and for many subpopulations, often called domains or areas. Domains may be geographical regions (e.g. states or counties), sociodemographic groups (e.g. nonwhite Hispanic women between 18 and 65 years) or other subpopulations. A domain or an area is considered "large" or "major" if the domain sample is sufficiently large so that it can provide a direct estimate of the domain parameter, for example, the mean, with adequate precision. A domain or an area is regarded as "small" if the domain-specific sample is not large enough to produce an estimate with reliable precision. Areas or domains with small samples are called small areas, small domains, local areas, subdomains, or substates.

Beginning in 1996, ...

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