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The University of Southampton

STAT6106 Small Area Estimation

Module Overview

The aim is to provide you with an overview and a broad understanding of methods of small area estimation, their motivation and applications.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be familiar with commonly used methods for small area estimation
  • Be able to understand the uses and limitations of different methods
  • Be able to understand the circumstances in which they are applicable
  • Be able to understand how the results of different methods should be interpreted
  • Be able to read and understand the official statistics literature on small area estimation


Motivation for small area estimation. Data sources and auxiliary information. The module is divided into two parts: - Design-based methods for domain estimation and their limitations - Model-based methods - simple synthetic estimation - nested error regression models for continuous variables - area-level regression models for continuous variables - methods for discrete variables - methods making use of time series information

Special Features

This module is run as a week-long short course, a component of the MSc Official Statistics.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures with integrated exercises and revisions to enhance understanding of the various methods. Computing lab to compare applications of the various methods.

Independent Study76
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Rao, J.N.K. (2003). Small Area Estimation. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Linked modules

Prerequisites: STAT6093 and STAT6095

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