Listed below are the surveys, censuses, and programs that contribute data and other content to this topic. Click on the links to learn more.
The 2010 Census did not include questions about citizenship or nativity. Since 2005, data on the foreign born are available only through the American Community Survey and Current Population Survey.
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 Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of apportioning the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1970 to 2000, the decennial census consisted of a “short form,” which included basic questions about age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, relationship to householder, and housing tenure, and a “long form.” The long form, administered to only a sample of households, included the basic questions from the short form and detailed questions about social, economic, and housing characteristics. In addition to all of the other questions from the long form, the 2000 Census asked several questions of interest to international migration researchers, including country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year of entry into the United States, residence five years ago, race, ethnicity, ancestry, and language spoken at home. Since 2005, data about the foreign-born population are available through the American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS).
The ACS is a nationwide survey launched in 2005 to replace the decennial long form. It was 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 included on the Census 2000 long form. ACS items relevant to international migration research include country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year of naturalization, year of entry into the United States, residence one year ago, race, ethnicity, ancestry, and language spoken at home.
The 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. It 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. While the CPS is focused on providing labor market information, it also provides a wealth of other demographic, social, and economic data that are widely used in both the public and private sectors. The CPS asks several questions on topics of interest to international migration researchers, such as country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, and year of entry into the United States. Most notably, the CPS includes questions on parental place of birth, the only Census Bureau survey to do so.