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What is a sample frame in statistics?
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In statistics, a sampling frame is the source material or device from which a sample is drawn. It is a list of all those within a population who can be sampled, and may include individuals, households or institutions.

In many practical situations, the frame is a matter of choice to the survey planner, and sometimes a critical one.

a) Qualities of sample frame

An ideal sampling frame will have the following qualities:
- All units have a logical, numerical identifier.

- All units can be found -their contact information, map location, other relevant information is present.
- The frame is organized in a logical, systematic fashion.
- The frame has additional information about the units that allow the use of more advanced sampling frames.
- Every element of the population of interest is present in the frame.
- Every element of the population is present only once in the frame.
- No elements from outside the population of interest are present in the frame
- The data is 'up-to-date'.

b) Sample frames problems

- Some members of the population are may not be included in the frame.
- The non-members of the population may be included in the frame.
- Duplicate entries. A member of the population is surveyed more than once.
- Groups or clusters.

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