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Wallace Hall Princeton University      

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In regards to the data files, it is important to highlight the following:

  • Datasets are available in three formats (SAS, SPSS, and STATA), and are divided into sections, corresponding to sections in the questionnaire. The following table is an example of how the datasets will be divided into sections. NIS datasets may be downloaded from the NIS Data File Download Area. Registration (free) is required for access.

    NIS 2003
    SAS Files
    Comp'd Size
    File(s) Size
    Section Name
    File Type
    Type of Interview (*)
    Roster Roster Zip Archive MA, CP, SP
    Section CIS Preload Zip Archive MA, CP
    Section A Demographics Zip Archive MA, CP
    Section B Pre-Immigration Experiences Zip Archive MA, CP, SP
    Section B-ppp Pre-Immigration Experiences Zip Archive MA, CP, SP
    (*) MA=adult; CP=Child Proxy; SP=Spouse; CH=Child.

  • The variables that correspond to the questions are named following the convention of section and question numbers (refer to NIS 2003-1 Questionnaires and NIS 2003-1 Codebook).

  • Each section dataset has the variable PU_ID, which is a six-digit unique individual identification number, the first four-digits are the unique household identification number, and the last two-digits refer to the individual within the household (10=Adult Immigrant or Proxy of Child Immigrant, 20=Spouse, 21=Sampled Child, 22+=additional children). This variable is necessary to merge the various files from NIS 2003-1 from the questionnaire and to merge files from the Main Adult with Child Proxy respondents.

  • The first four-digits from the variable PU_ID are necessary to merge files from the Spouse and Child datasets to the Adult Immigrant or Proxy of Child Immigrant datasets.

  • The Preload database has several variables collected from the INS records, some of which were collapsed, or recoded to protect the identity of respondents. Among them are CISADJUST (if status of respondent was adjusted or new arrival), CISCOBINSmo (country of birth), and CISSTATEmo (state where green card was sent). Additionally, sampling weights have been included in this file (NISWGTSAMP1) as well as the various files from the questionnaire. For more information about the construction of the design weights, refer to the Sampling Weights document.

  • The variable INTTYPE identifies the type of interview that was conducted (1=Adult Immigrant; 2=Proxy of Child Immigrant; 3=Overseas Immigrant; or 4=Spouse); the variable WHOKNOW states who is the most knowledgeable to answer about the household finances (1=Respondent; 2=Spouse).

  • Sections B, C, G, H, and I have each a separate PPP file containing information of amounts in different currencies converted to US dollars using purchasing power parity over consumption. Not all original amounts were converted into US dollars due to lack of information. These files are put in the rows following each section as shown in the table above (Section B and Section B-ppp).

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