Redesigning the Consumer Price Index Area Sample

William H. Johnson, Yeon Rhee, and Owen J. Shoemaker


This paper describes the PSU selection process for the next CPI Revision. The U. S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) employs a multistage sample design that has been revised every ten years. The first stage consists of selecting primary sampling units (PSUs), which are formed from Metropolitan or Micropolitan Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) based on preliminary definitions by the Office of Management and Budget. The selected PSUs are also used in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) and the Telephone Point of Purchase Survey (TPOPS). The process to select PSUs includes using variance models to compare various PSU sample designs, stratifying the PSUs, Keyfitzing, and controlled selection.