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Assimilation and Coverage of the Foreign-Born Population in Administrative Records

Working Paper Number CARRA-WP-2015-02
Renuka Bhaskar, Leticia Fernandez and Sonya Rastogi
Component ID: #ti305330596

Abstract

The U.S. Census Bureau is researching ways to incorporate administrative data in decennial census and survey operations. Critical to this work is an understanding of the coverage of the population by administrative records. Using federal and third party administrative data linked to the American Community Survey (ACS), we evaluate the extent to which administrative records provide data on foreign-born individuals in the ACS and employ multinomial logistic regression techniques to evaluate characteristics of those who are in administrative records relative to those who are not. We find that overall, administrative records provide high coverage of foreign-born individuals in our sample for whom a match can be determined. The odds of being in administrative records are found to be tied to the processes of immigrant assimilation – naturalization, higher English proficiency, educational attainment, and full-time employment are associated with greater odds of being in administrative records. These findings suggest that as immigrants adapt and integrate into U.S. society, they are more likely to be involved in government and commercial processes and programs for which we are including data. We further explore administrative records coverage for the two largest race/ethnic groups in our sample – Hispanic and non-Hispanic single-race Asian foreign born, finding again that characteristics related to assimilation are associated with administrative records coverage for both groups. However, we observe that neighborhood context impacts Hispanics and Asians differently.

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