Data Dictionary: ACS 2008 (1-Year Estimates)
you are here: choose a survey survey data set table variable details
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Universe: Universe: Foreign-born population
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Sex
The data on sex were derived from answers to Question 3. Individuals were asked to mark either "male" or "female" to indicate their sex. For most cases in which sex was not reported, the appropriate entry was determined from the persons given (i.e., first) name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age of the person.
Sex Ratio
The sex ratio represents the balance between the male and female populations. Ratios above 100 indicate a larger male population, and ratios below 100 indicate a larger female population. This measure is derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females and then multiplying by 100. It is rounded to the nearest tenth.
Limitation of the data
Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have sex distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the sex distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.

The Census Bureau tested the changes introduced to the 2008 version of the sex question in the 2007 ACS Grid-Sequential Test (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS-MP-09_Grid-Sequential_Test_Final_Report.pdf). The results of this testing show that the changes may introduce an inconsistency in the data produced for this question as observed from the years 2007 to 2008.
Question/Concept History
Beginning in 2008, the layout of the sex question response categories was changed to a horizontal side-by-side layout from a vertically stacked layout on the mail paper ACS questionnaire.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Place of Birth
The data on place of birth were derived from answers to Question 7. Respondents were asked to select one of two categories:

(1) in the United States, or
(2) outside the United States. In the American Community Survey, respondents selecting category
(1) were then asked to report the name of the state while respondents selecting category
(2) were then asked to report the name of the foreign country, or Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. In the Puerto Rico Community Survey, respondents selecting category
(1) were also asked to report the name of the state, while respondents selecting category
(2) were then asked to print Puerto Rico or the name of the foreign country, or U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, etc. People not reporting a place of birth were assigned the state or country of birth of another family member, or were allocated the response of another individual with similar characteristics. People born outside the United States were asked to report their place of birth according to current international boundaries. Since numerous changes in boundaries of foreign countries have occurred in the last century, some people may have reported their place of birth in terms of boundaries that existed at the time of their birth or emigration, or in accordance with their own national preference.
Nativity
Information on place of birth and citizenship status was used to classify the population into two major categories: native and foreign born.
Native
The native population includes anyone who was a U.S. citizen at birth. The native population includes those born in the United States, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as those born abroad of at least one U.S. citizen parent. The native population is divided into the following groups: people born in the state in which they resided at the time of the survey; people born in a different state, by region; people born in Puerto Rico or one of the U.S. Island Areas; and people born abroad with at least one U.S. citizen parent. (See also "Citizenship Status.")
Foreign Born
The foreign-born population includes anyone who was not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes respondents who indicated they were a U.S. citizen by naturalization or not a U.S. citizen. (See also "Citizenship Status".)
The foreign-born population is shown by selected area, country, or region of birth. The places of birth shown in data products were chosen based on the number of respondents who reported that area or country of birth.
Limitation of the Data
Beginning in 2006, the group quarters (GQ) population is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have place of birth distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the place of birth distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.

Question/Concept History
The 1996-1998 American Community Survey question asked respondents to write in the U.S. state, territory, commonwealth or foreign country where this person was born. Beginning in 1999, the question asked "Where was this person born?" and provided two check-boxes, each with a write-in space.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Year of Entry
The data on year of entry were derived from answers to Question 9.

All respondents born outside the United States were asked for the year in which they came to live in the United States. This includes people born in Puerto Rico and U.S. Island Areas; people born abroad of an U.S. citizen parent or parents; and the foreign born. (See "Citizenship Status.") For the Puerto Rico Community Survey, respondents were asked for the year in which they came to live in Puerto Rico.
Limitation of the Data
Respondents were directed to indicate the year they entered the U.S. (or Puerto Rico, for the Puerto Community Survey) "to live." For respondents who have entered the U.S. (or Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Community Survey) multiple times, the interviewers were instructed to request the most recent year of entry. For respondents who either did not ask the interviewer for clarification or for those who mailed back the questionnaire without being interviewed in person, it was difficult to ensure that respondents interpreted the question as intended.

Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations may have year of entry distributions that are different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the year of entry distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.

Question/Concept History
Since 1996, the year of entry questions for the American Community Survey and for the Puerto Rico Survey were identical. An instruction was added beginning in 1999 to "Print numbers in boxes."