2018 Annual Survey of Refugees

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Urban Institute
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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 refugees’ progress toward self-sufficiency and integration. ORR uses the ASR results alongside other information sources to fulfill its Congressionally-mandated reporting requirement following the Refugee Act of 1980.

    In the spring of 2019, ORR completed its 52st Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR). The data from the ASR offer a window into respondents’ first five years in the United States and show 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 2018 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. Of these populations, the Annual Survey of Refugees focuses solely on 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 2018 ASR to allow for valid statistical estimates of the target refugee population. Both sets of weights are comprised of two components – 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).
  • Methods

    Response Rates: An overall response rate of 21 percent was achieved. The response rate was driven by the ability to locate and speak to (1,514+510)/ 7,315 = 28 percent of the sample, meaningthat two thirds of the sample could neither be located nor (if located) successfullycontacted.

    The overall response rates decreased with time since arrival to the U.S., varying from 17percent for FY 2013-14 refugees to 23 percent for FY 2015-16 refugees and a high of 25percent for FY 2017 refugees.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2019-01-23 / 2019-04-17
    Time Period: Wed Jan 23 00:00:00 EST 2019--Wed Apr 17 00:00:00 EDT 2019 (Collected 2018 information)
  • 2019-01-23 / 2019-04-17
    Collection Date(s): Wed Jan 23 00:00:00 EST 2019--Wed Apr 17 00:00:00 EDT 2019
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Refugees aged 16 years old or older at the time of interview and arrived in the U.S. during FY 2013-2017. Smallest Geographic Unit: Census region originally resettled in and the country of birth
The 2018 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.
The 2018 ASR targeted 1,500 completed interviews from refugee households entering the U.S. between FY 2013-2017. The sample was designed to allow for separate estimates and analyses from each of the three designated cohorts. Moreover, the design needed to accommodate both household- and person-level analyses.

The sample was drawn as fresh cross sections by cohort; there was no longitudinalcomponent. The survey objectives required that – in addition to primary stratification bycohort – the sample of households (i.e., PAs) be stratified at least by year of entry andgeographic region of origin.
The 2018 ASR sampling frame was ORR’s Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS) dataset.
Collection Mode
  • telephone interview;

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Is version of
    DOI: 10.3886/E131025
  • “Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Report to Congress 2018,” n.d.

Update Metadata: 2021-02-23 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2021-02-23