Survey Methodology
Multiple imputation of missing values in household data with structural zeros

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by Olanrewaju Akande, Jerome Reiter and Andrés F. BarrientosNote 1

  • Release date: June 27, 2019


We present an approach for imputation of missing items in multivariate categorical data nested within households. The approach relies on a latent class model that (i) allows for household-level and individual-level variables, (ii) ensures that impossible household configurations have zero probability in the model, and (iii) can preserve multivariate distributions both within households and across households. We present a Gibbs sampler for estimating the model and generating imputations. We also describe strategies for improving the computational efficiency of the model estimation. We illustrate the performance of the approach with data that mimic the variables collected in typical population censuses.

Key Words:      Categorical; Census; Edit; Latent; Mixture; Nonresponse.

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How to cite

Akande, O., Reiter, J. and Barrientos, A.F. (2019). Multiple imputation of missing values in household data with structural zeros. Survey Methodology, Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 12-001-X, Vol. 45, No. 2. Paper available at


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