A Review of the August 2008 CPS Migration Supplement Automated Questionnaire

October 2011
Working Paper Number: POP-WP092
G. Patricia de la Cruz


In August 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau sponsored a supplement to the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) questionnaire. The Immigration/Emigration Supplement, also referred to as the Migration Supplement, focused on five topics – citizenship, year of entry, residence one year ago, residents and emigrants abroad, and monetary transfers – and included questions not commonly found on other surveys. The overall purpose of the Migration Supplement was to provide the Census Bureau with additional data to aid its mission of improving knowledge on the size and characteristics of the foreign-born population in the United States. 

The Migration Supplement, like the CPS, was automated and only administered via the computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) and the computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI). Neither the CPS nor the Migration Supplement used a paper-based instrument to collect data. Thus, no paper version of the Supplement questionnaire exists. However, paper questionnaires often provide researchers with additional information useful for understanding the data itself, such as question order, response options, interview instructions, and skip patterns, but are not generally included in the documentation published with CPS public-use microdata files. 

The goal of this report is to help data users better understand the overall structure of the Migration Supplement automated questionnaire. Emphasis will be placed on illustrating the flow of the Supplement by discussing question order, modified universes, and skip patterns for each of the five sections. 

October 2011
February 2012