At Wave 1, the interviewer visits the sampled address, compiles a household roster, and attempts to interview all members of the household who are 15 years of age or older. The interviewer decides whether each person is a household member by using rules that determine whether the person is a usual resident of the unit. Typically, a usual resident is one who sleeps there a majority of the time. While the Census Bureau prefers that all respondents who are present at the time of the interview answer for themselves, proxy interviews are accepted from another household respondent when necessary. Within each household a reference person is identified, typically it is the owner or renter of the housing unit. After Wave 1, the interviewer compiles (or updates) a separate household roster for each housing unit, listing all people living or staying at the unit, including anyone who may have joined the household, such as a new spouse or baby, and the dates they entered the household.
Also noted are people who left the household and their dates of departure. If some, but not all, sample members have moved since the last interview, the interviewer completes interviews at the original address and obtains the new address(es) of the individuals who moved. For those remaining at the same address, the interviewer verifies that certain previously collected information still applies, completes the questionnaire for each person 15 years of age or older, and collects certain information for children under age 15. Information is also collected for all new household members. Movers are interviewed at their new addresses, along with other household members they are living or staying with at the time. When original sample members move into households with other individuals not previously in the survey, the new individuals become part of the SIPP sample for as long as they continue to live with an original sample member. Similarly, when new individuals move in with original sample members after the first interview, they too become part of the SIPP sample for as long as they continue to live with an original sample member. If no original sample members live at an address where a previous interview was conducted, SIPP does not collect information from the new occupants of that address.
Interviewers rely on several sources of information to locate movers. At the first interview, the interviewer obtains the name, address, and telephone number of a person who could furnish the new address should the entire household move. If necessary, interviewers may contact neighbors, employers, mail carriers, real estate companies, rental agents, or postal supervisors to locate original sample members who have moved.
If an entire household moves, the interviewer tries to find the original sample members and interview them at their new address(es) if they remain in the locality. If the household relocates into or close to a different PSU, a SIPP interviewer in that area may interview them. For example, if a couple moves from Boston to Seattle, a SIPP interviewer in the Seattle area will likely interview the couple for the remaining waves of their panel. Should the entire household move more than 100 miles away from a SIPP PSU, attempts will be made to interview by telephone. If the household cannot be reached, the sample members will be dropped from the survey. Specifically, they will be treated as Type D noninterviews (Type D noninterviews are discussed in Chapter 2 of the SIPP Users' Guide).
If only some original sample members move, the interviewer completes interviews with all eligible household members at both the original address and the address(es) of those who have moved. If an original sample member leaves a SIPP household and the remaining original sample members cannot provide a new address, the interviewer will try to find the person through the means discussed above. Similar to what happens with a household, if an individual original sample member moves within the United States but more than 100 miles away from a SIPP PSU, a telephone interview will be attempted. When that is not possible, the person is treated as a Type D noninterview.
SIPP does not interview original sample members if they move outside the United States, become members of the military living in barracks, or become institutionalized (e.g., nursing home residents, prison inmates). The Census Bureau attempts to track such individuals, however. Should they return to the noninstitutionalized resident U.S. population, the Census Bureau will resume trying to interview them.