U.S. Department of Commerce

Foreign Born

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govPeople and HouseholdsForeign Born Main › Data

Data

American Community Survey Data on Foreign-Born Population

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, social, economic, and housing data every year. The primary reason for the ACS is to help Congress determine funding and policies for a wide variety of federal programs. For this reason, the topics covered by the ACS are diverse. Nearly all topics in the ACS were also included on the Census 2000 long form. ACS items relevant to migration research include country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year of naturalization, year came to live in the United States, residence one year ago, race, ethnicity, ancestry, and language spoken at home.

Current Population Survey Data on Foreign-Born Population

The Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the primary source of labor force statistics for the United States. The CPS is the source of numerous high-profile economic statistics, including the national unemployment rate, and provides data on a wide range of issues relating to employment and earnings. Although labor market information is central to the CPS, the survey provides a wealth of other demographic, social, and economic data that are widely used in both the public and private sectors. This includes several questions of interest to migration researchers, such as country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, and year came to live in the United States. Most notably, the CPS is the only Census Bureau survey to include questions on parental place of birth.

Decennial Census Data on Foreign-Born Population

Every 10 years since 1790, Congress has authorized funds to conduct a national census of the U.S. population. The decennial census is required by the U.S. Constitution. Recent censuses have consisted of a “short form,” which included basic questions about age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship, and owner/renter status, and a “long form.” The long form was used at only a sample of households and included not only the basic questions on the short form, but also detailed questions about social, economic, and housing characteristics. In Census 2000, in addition to all of the other data available from the long form, there were several questions of interest to migration researchers, including country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year came to live in the United States, residence five years ago, race, ethnicity, ancestry, and language spoken at home. As part of the reengineered census, Census 2000 was the last time long form data were collected. After 2000, foreign-born population data are available only through ACS and CPS.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Foreign Born |  Last Revised: 2013-03-05T16:47:01.951-05:00