Quota Sampling

In quota sampling, the population is first segmented into mutually exclusive sub-groups, just as in stratified sampling. Then judgement is used to select the subjects or units from each segment based on a specified proportion. It is this second step which makes the technique one of non-probability sampling.

Let us assume you wanted to interview tourists coming to a community to study their activities and spending. Based on national research you know that 60% come for vacation/pleasure, 20% are VFR (visiting friends and relatives), 15% come for business and 5% for conventions and meetings. You also know that 80% come from within the province. 10% from other parts of Canada, and 10% are international. A total of 500 tourists are to be intercepted at major tourist spots (attractions, events, hotels, convention centre, etc.), as you would in a convenience sample. The number of interviews could therefore be determined based on the proportion a given characteristic represents in the population. For instance, once 300 pleasure travellers have been interviewed, this category would no longer be pursued, and only those who state that one of the other purposes was their reason for coming would be interviewed until these quotas were filled.

Obvious advantages of quota sampling are the speed with which information can be collected, the lower cost of doing so and the convenience it represents.