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December 1996

The redesign of the CPI geographic sample

Janet L. Williams

The selection of new geographic sampling areas ensures that the 1998 revised Consumer Price Index is representative of current demographics. Historically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has used the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) definition of Metropolitan Areas first to determine the geographic boundary between the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of the United States for the CPI,and second to divide the metropolitan United States into geographic sections called primary sampling units (hereafter, called sampling units). This article describes the area selection process for the 1998 CPI revision.

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