The objective of this paper is to describe the use of a new UK system of area classification, to assist in resolving problems of sample representativeness, sub-sample matching and minority sampling. Other applications of the system, as a descriptive analysis variable, or as a marketing tool, are outside the scope of this paper, but are touched upon briefly. The paper falls naturally into 3 parts; 1. A basic description of the classification system, known as ACORN; 2. A discussion of the potential research uses of the system in theory; 3. A number of illustrative examples of the practical application of the system to sampling problems. The final section draws conclusions on the value of ACORN to market research.
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