IASS News March 2021

March  2021 Newsletter: International Association of Survey Statisticians

About the IASS

Links to more information:

The TSS is an open access journal. If you would like to contribute an article to the Ask the Experts, New and Emerging Methods, and Book and Software Review sections please approach the TSS editors or James Chipperfield (email below)

The IASS Executive Committee encourage members to subscribe and contribute articles to the Statistics Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics. Website: https://officialstatistics.com/aims-scope .

Please feel free to send items to publish in future IASS newsletters to James Chipperfield james.chipperfield@abs.gov.au  

Passing of Lars Lyberg and Seppo S. Laaksonen

It was sad news to hear of the passing of Lars and Seppo. A tribute to them will appear in the next issue (July 2021 issue) of The Survey Statistician.  A Tribute to Seppo is available. A tribute to Lars is below courtesy of Dennis Trewin.

LARS LYBERG (1944 – 2021)

Lars died earlier this month in Stockholm after a long illness, aged 76 years.  He was one of the giants in the development and promulgation of survey methods and a former IASS President (1993–95). His career was at Statistics Sweden and Stockholm University, sometimes working at both at the same time.

He was the Developer and Founding Editor of the Journal of Official Statistics in 1985 which continues to perform strongly with a high impact factor. He was Editor-in-Chief for 25 years.

He wrote or edited 12 books, eight of which were published in the Wiley Series on Survey Methodology. He had many other achievements for which he received a number of awards. A full obituary will appear in the next issue of the Survey Statistician.

Webinars Series

The IASS is pleased to announce IASS’ 7th Webinar. Registration details will soon be available. The use of Administrative Data to Produce the First Wave of Italian Permanent Census Estimates. 25 March 2021 at 11.00am-12.30pm (CET).


In 2016 Istat (Italian National Statistical Institute) launched a modernization programme in which the Registers Integrated System (RIS) became the backbone of the data production process. Starting from 2018, the ISTAT, like other countries (ONS, 2016), launched the Permanent Census, a new census system, aimed at integrating administrative data and data coming from sample surveys to obtain the counts of the usual resident population at a reference date, cleating Census counts of coverage errors affecting the register. A Lincoln-Petersen estimator is used after adjusting for people erroneously included in the register (overcoverage) or missed by the registers (undercoverage) on the basis of record linkage procedures and an evaluation of the not response errors which affect the surveys by means of the administrative signals of work and school enrolment (signs of administrative lives).

Biography of Speakers

Nicoletta Cibella is a statistician, she has been working in Istat from 2002; after working for many years in the methodological division, she is now in the Census Department of statistical production, Demographic and Census Population Statistics’ Direction. She is in charge of the project ‘Innovative criteria and tools for the optimization of census population calculation strategies’ (from 2018). Research fields: record linkage techniques, capture/recapture models, undercoverage estimation, non-sampling errors.

Angela Chieppa is a researcher in Istat since 1998 on issues related to informative systems, statistical methods useful for processing Census data and for assessing quality of Census results. She is the supervisor of the workgroup responsible for the design and implementation of the informative system to process data coming from administrative sources, statistical registers and census surveys as to produce final Census results suitable for dissemination through web-warehouses. She is also in charge of data mining and knowledge discovery activities to define relevant patterns in administrative data and statistical registers, useful to improve estimation of Census results.

World Statistics Conference 2021 (IASS-Sponsored Special Invited Sessions)

In addition to the handful of Invited Session Proposals sponsored by IASS (see 2020 IASS Newsletters), the IASS is also sponsoring two Special Invited Session Proposals at the WSC 2021. Brief details below.

The Survey Statistician Session – Issues with big amounts of data for survey statistics

Given the seemingly infinite supply of data available from administrative records, internet transactions, social media and commercially available databases, policy makers searching for answers may firstly mine these data sources before launching new surveys. There is a growing interest to produce Official Statistics using non-probability sample data as well, such as big data or data from volunteer web surveys, either alone or in combination with probability sample data. The main motivation for using non-probability samples is their low cost and respondent burden, and quick turnaround since they allow for producing estimates shortly after the information need has been identified. However, big data often come with “big errors” as well.

The IASS President’s and Cochran-Hansen Prize Invited Session

This session will focus on the blend of survey sampling and statistical modelling for the production and analysis of survey data. Data integration and model-based estimation as well as the relevance of universalizing methods for the analysis of complex surveys will be discussed.


Upcoming IASS-Supported Conferences in 2021

ICES VI – The International Conference on Establishment Statistics will take place 14-17 June 2021 in New Orleans, U.S. Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/ices/2020/conferenceinfo.cfm/   

SAE2021- BigSmall – Conference on Small Area Estimation, with the theme “Big Data for Small Areas”, will be held virtually 20-24 September, as a satellite conference to the World Statistics Conference in 2021. Website: https://sae2020.org/ 

11e Colloque International Francophone sur les Sondages – 11th International Francophone Conference on Surveys will take place 6-8 October 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. Website: http://sondages2020.sciencesconf.org.

Other Conferences on survey statistics and related areas

Statistics in the Big Data Era will take place 2 – 4 June 2021 in Berkeley, USA. Website: https://simons.berkeley.edu/workshops/statistics-big-data-era

Symposium on Data Science & Statistics is planned to take placeJune 2-5, 2021 in Missouri, USA–. Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/sdss/2021/ 

ANZSC 2021 – Australian Statistical Society and New Zealand Statistical Association Conference will take place 5 – 9 July 5, Gold Coast, Australia.  Website: https://anzsc2021.com.au/

Conference and Special Issue of Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A in memory of Fred Smith and Chris Skinner will be held in Southampton, UK, 8‐10 July 2021. See the August 2020 IASS Newsletter for full details.

63rd ISI World Statistics Congress will take place 11-16 July 2021 and will be virtual.  Website: https://www.isi2021.org/

Joint Statistical Meetings 2021 will take place 7 -12 August in Seattle, USA. Website: https://www.amstat.org/ASA/Meetings/Joint-Statistical-Meetings.aspx

2021 Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference will take place 7-9 October in Pittsburgh, USA. Website: https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/wsds/2021/

The Survey Research Methods Section (SRMS) of the ASA Information on activities of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA) are available at: https://community.amstat.org/surveyresearchmethodssection/home