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2016 Annual Survey of Refugees

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Urban Institute
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    • Award Number: 1
Free Keywords
  • Abstract

    Since the 1980s, the Office of Refugee Resettlement[1] (ORR) has conducted the Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR), which collects information on refugees during their first five years after arrival in the U.S. The ASR is the only scientifically-collected source of national data on refugeesâ¿¿ progress toward self-sufficiency and integration. ORR uses the ASR results alongside other information sources to fulfill its Congressionally-mandated reporting following the Refugee Act of 1980. Historically, the microdata from these surveys have generally been unavailable to researchers.

    In the Spring of 2017 ORR completed its 50th Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR). The data from the ASR offer a window into respondentsâ¿¿ first five years in the United States and shows the progress that refugee families made towards learning English, participating in the workforce, and establishing permanent residence. This public use data deposit is only for the 2016 ASR with future years likely to be added to the ICPSR archive..
    [1] The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) serves refugees and other humanitarian entrants, including asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Amerasians, victims of human trafficking, and unaccompanied children. By providing these arrived populations with critical resources, ORR promotes their economic and social well-being. The Annual Survey of Refugees focuses solely on those refugees who have come to the U.S. in the past five fiscal years.
  • Weighting

    Household- and person-level analytic weights were developed for the 2016 ASR to allow for valid statistical estimates of the target refugee population. Both sets of weights are comprised of two components â¿¿ a base weight reflecting the selection probability and an adjustment that corrects for differential nonresponse and aligns the population to known totals from the sampling frame (RADS universe file).
  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: An overall response rate of 24 percent was achieved. The response rate was driven by the ability to locate and speak to (1500+468)/6176 = 32 percent of the sample, meaning that two thirds of the sample could either not be located, or (if located) could not be successfully contacted. The overall response rates decreased with time since arrival to the U.S., varying from 20 percent for FY 2011-2012 refugees to 25 percent for FY 2013-2014 refugees and a high of 31 percent for FY 2015 refugees.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2017-01-10 / 2017-04-20
    Time Period: Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017--Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017 (Mid January 2017 through Mid April 2017)
  • 2017-01-10 / 2017-04-20
    Collection Date(s): Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017--Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Refugees aged 16 years old or over at the time of interview who arrived in the U.S. during FY 2011-2015 Smallest Geographic Unit: Census region originally resettled in and the country of birth
The 2016 ASR employed a stratified probability sample design of refugees.  The first stage of selection was the household (PA), and the second stage was the selection of persons within households.   
Collection Mode
  • telephone interview~~


Update Metadata: 2018-11-16 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2018-11-16

Urban Institute (2018): 2016 Annual Survey of Refugees. Version: 2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.