Household survey

The last stage of the sampling design involved selecting households. First, for each village the field team created the sampling frame: two separate lists of households, one for households with, and one for households without migrants (see Box 3.1 for key definitions). The research team prepared these lists through communication with village chiefs. Four villages were replaced, two because the village chief could not be reached or was not willing to participate, and two because the number of households with migrants was too low.

Box 3.1. Key definitions for the Cambodian household survey

A household consists of one or several persons, irrespective of whether they are related or not, who normally live together in the same housing unit or group of housing units and have common cooking and eating arrangements.

A household head is the most respected/responsible member of the household, who provides most of the household needs, makes key decisions and whose authority is recognised by all members of the household.

Box 3.1. Key definitions for the Cambodian household survey (cont.)

The main respondent is the person who is most knowledgeable about the household and its members. He or she may be the head, or any other member (aged 18 or over). The main respondent answers the majority of the modules in the questionnaire, with the exception of the immigrant and return migrant modules which were administered directly to the immigrants and returnees themselves. As it was not possible to interview migrants who were abroad at the time of the survey, questions in the emigrant module were asked of the main respondent.

A migrant household is a household with at least one current international emigrant or return migrant (Table 3.1).

A non-migrant household is a household without any current international emigrant or return migrant.

An international emigrant is an ex-member of the household who has left to live in another country, and has been away for at least three consecutive months without returning.1

An international return migrant is a current member of the household who had previously been living in another country for at least three consecutive months and who returned to the country.

International remittances are cash or in-kind transfers from international emigrants. In the case of in-kind remittances, the respondent is asked to estimate the value of the goods the household received.

A remittance-receiving household is a household that has received international remittances in the past 12 months prior to the survey. Remittances can be sent by former members of the household as well as by migrants who have never been part of the household.

Table 3.1. Household types, by migration experience

Non-migrant households

Migrant households

Households without any emigrant or return migrant

Households with one or more emigrants but no return migrant Households with at least one emigrant and one return migrant Households with one or more return migrants but no emigrant

1. Migration surveys often consider individuals to be migrants only after they have been away for either 6 or 12 months. Including shorter migration spells ensures that seasonal migrants are included in the sample (however temporary trips such as holidays are not considered in this definition). The survey also captures migration experiences that date back in time as the definitions do not put any restrictions on the amount of time that has elapsed since emigration, immigration or return migration. However, it is likely that more recent migration experiences are better captured in the survey as emigrants who left long ago are less likely to be reported by the household.

Systematic sampling was then used to select households from each group. the target ratio for migrant and non-migrant households was 50:50. twenty households were selected from each village, 10 migrant and 10 nonmigrant households. in case of a non-response, the household was replaced by a household from a reserve list. the total percentage of non-responses was around 5%. the main reason for not responding was that no household member was available. in these cases, the village chief was asked whether the household head was present in the village. for the majority of the households this was not the case and therefore the households were not revisited but replaced instead. Other reasons for non-response were that available household members were too old, or that the household member present refused to participate.

the household survey took place between 19 April and 17 may 2014, following a week-long training seminar and pilot survey led by the OEOD and cDRI. the interviews were conducted in Khmer, using paper questionnaires. A short description of the modules included in the survey is included in table 3.A1.2 in Annex 3.A1. Overall, 2 000 households were interviewed across the country (table 3.2). Of these, 999 households had international migrants and 1 001 did not.

table 3.2. Share of rural/urban and migrant/non-migrant households in surveyed households




Migrant households



  • 999
  • (50%)

Non-migrant households



  • 1 001
  • (50%)



1 620

2 000




Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

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