U.S. Department of Commerce

International Migration

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govPeople and HouseholdsInternational Migration Main › Data Sources

Data Sources

Population Estimates

The Population Estimates Program publishes total resident population estimates and demographic components of change—births, deaths, domestic migration, and international migration—each year. The estimates are published by demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin) for the nation, states, and counties. The reference date for annual estimates is July 1.

Population Projections

The Population Projections Program produces projections of the United States resident population by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. The projections are based on assumptions about future births, deaths, and net international migration. The 2009 National Projections are a supplemental series to the 2008 National Projections released on August 14, 2008, and provide results for differing assumptions of net international migration.

American Community Survey (ACS)

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. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. 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 (CPS)

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 international migration researchers, such as country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year came to live in the United States, and parental place of birth. A supplement to the August 2008 CPS focused on migration.

Decennial Census Data

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 collected from 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 the ACS and CPS.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | International Migration |  Last Revised: 2012-06-22T15:20:36.636-04:00