Race, Ethnicity & Citizenship

Race, Ethnicity & Citizenship

Created Variables

KEY!RACE. Identifies respondent's race.

KEY!ETHNICITY. Identifies respondents of Hispanic and Latino origin.

KEY!RACE_ETHNICITY. Classifies all respondents into four groups: Hispanic or Latino, black, non-black/non-Hispanic, or mixed race/non-Hispanic.

CV_CITIZENSHIP. Provides the respondent's U.S. citizenship status based on his or her parents' residence at the time of the respondent's birth. 

CV_CITIZEN_CURRENT. Summarizes citizenship status. Based on questions asked in rounds 5-8 and rounds 10-13. 

 

Important Information About Using Race, Ethnicity & Citizenship Data

1. To simplify the race/ethnicity identification process, survey staff created a single combined variable, KEY!RACE_ETHNICITY (R14826.).  This variable is based on KEY!RACE, KEY!ETHNICITY, household roster information from the HHI2 variables, and biological parent race/ethnicity information.  All respondents are classified as Hispanic or Latino, black, non-black/non-Hispanic, or mixed race/non-Hispanic; there are no missing values.  While a respondent can be of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity and still be of any race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity was given priority in the creation of this variable.  Users who wish to identify, for example, blacks of Hispanic or Latino origin must create their own variable from the screener information.

2. Although the questionnaire contains response categories for white; black or African-American; American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut; and Asian or Pacific Islander races, some household informants refused to select one race and identified household members only as "mixed race."  This category was added in the codebook.

3. In the supplemental Primary Sampling Units (PSUs), information from the Screener, Household Roster, and Nonresident Roster Questionnaire was used to determine whether a youth was eligible for inclusion in the black and Hispanic or Latino oversample. No non-black/non-Hispanic youths from the supplemental PSUs were included in the survey.  PSUs are sample housing units selected in the first stage of a multi-stage sample. For more information on NLSY97 sampling procedures and numbers, refer to Sample Design & Screening Process

Data on the respondent's race and ethnicity were collected in the Screener, Household Roster, and Nonresident Roster Questionnaire (round 1) and were based on the household informant's identification. Using the household roster variables, the survey program created KEY!RACE, which describes the respondent's race, and KEY!ETHNICITY, which identifies respondents of Hispanic and Latino origin. These variables can be combined to create a single race/ethnicity variable; however, there are a number of missing observations. Researchers may prefer to use KEY!RACE_ETHNICITY, described in the user notes above. Table 1 summarizes the racial/ethnic composition of the sample.

Table 1. NLSY97 Sample Sizes by Subsample, Race/Ethnicity & Gender

    Cross-sectional sample Supplemental Sample
  Total
sample
Cross-sect.
total
Non-black,
non-Hisp.
Black,
non-Hisp.
Hispanic
or Latino
Mixed
race
Supp.
total
Black,
non-Hisp.
Hispanic
or Latino
Mixed
race
Round 1
Male 4599 3459 2413 537 469 40 1140 632 508 --
Female 4385 3289 2252 544 452 41 1096 622 472 2
Total 8984 6748 4665 1081 921 81 2236 1254 980 2
Round 2
Male 4283 3213 2238 504 433 38 1070 599 471 --
Female 4103 3066 2095 517 417 37 1037 584 451 2
Total 8386 6279 4333 1021 850 75 2107 1183 922 2
Round 3
Male 4169 3143 2193 490 421 39 1026 572 454 --
Female 4039 3029 2076 503 412 38 1010 568 441 1
Total 8208 6172 4269 993 8330 77 2036 1140 895 1
Round 4
Male 4116 3097 2153 485 422 37 1019 580 439 --
Female 3964 2957 2027 489 402 39 1007 570 435 2
Total 8080 6054 4180 974 824 76 2026 1150 874 2
Round 5
Male 3988 3011 2110 455 410 36 977 541 436 --
Female 3894 2907 1991 478 401 37 987 558 427 2
Total 7882 5918 4101 933 811 73 1964 1099 863 2
Round 6
Male 3997 2995 2083 466 410 36 1002 567 435 --
Female 3899 2903 1973 486 408 36 996 568 426 2
Total 7896 5898 4056 952 818 72 1998 1135 861 2
Round 7
Male 3928 2951 2060 460 395 36 977 555 422 --
Female 3826 2831 1916 482 396 37 995 564 429 2
Total 7754 5782 3976 942 791 73 1972 1119 851 2
Round 8
Male 3732 2816 1966 433 383 34 916 506 410 --
Female 3770 2784 1866 491 390 37 986 563 421 2
Total 7502 5600 3832 924 773 71 1902 1069 831 2
Round 9
Male 3663 2731 1907 424 367 33 932 523 409 --
Female 3675 2706 1823 473 376 34 969 561 406 2
Total 7338 5437 3730 897 743 67 1901 1084 815 2
Round 10
Male 3803 2850 1988 445 385 32 953 535 418 --
Female 3756 2774 1867 490 380 37 982 567 413 2
Total 7559 5624 3855 935 765 69 1935 1102 831 2
Round 11
Male 3735 2803 1954 441 374 34 932 519 413 --
Female 3683 2718 1826 483 376 33 965 552 411 2
Total 7418 5521 3780 924 750 67 1897 1071 824 2
Round 12
Male 3767 2819 1963 443 379 34 948 533 415 --
Female 3723 2741 1834 486 385 36 982 564 416 2
Total 7490 5560 3797 929 764 70 1930 1097 831 2
Round 13
Male 3785 2835 1957 454 388 36 950 519 431 --
Female 3774 2781 1859 495 391 36 993 569 422 2
Total 7559 5616 3816 949 779 72 1943 1088 853 2
Round 14
Male 3765 2816 1941 458 382 35 949 527 422 --
Female 3714 2728 1819 490 384 35 986 568 416 2
Total 7479 5544 3760 948 766 70 1935 1095 838 2
Round 15
Male 3743 2792 1910 461 387 34 951 532 419 --
Female 3680 2709 1802 486 386 35 971 557 412 2
Total 7423 5501 3712 947 773 69 1922 1089 831 2
Round 16
Male 3545 2647 1814 431 368 34 898 509 389 0
Female 3596 2638 1756 480 370 32 958 553 404 1
Total 7141 5285 3570 911 738 66 1856 1062 793 1
 
Note: This table was created using the following variables: CV_SAMPLE_TYPE (R12358.), KEY!RACE_ETHNICITY (R14826.),
KEY!SEX (R05363.), and RNI (R25102., R38297., etc).

Respondent's race and ethnicity were also asked in round 6 as part of an experiment. The wording of this question was updated according to Census guidelines.  Prior to this round, new Federal guidelines were established for asking about race and ethnicity. In round 6, respondents were asked to report their race and ethnicity using the original questions from round 1 and from questions based on the new guidelines. The original questions are YHHI-55700A1, which obtained the respondent's ethnicity, and YHHI-55700A2, which asked for race. The new questions are YHEA-50, which asks respondents whether they are Hispanic or Latino, and YHEA-60, which allows respondents to check all that apply with regard to race.

In round 12 (and rounds 13-14 for those not interviewed in Round 12), interviewers recorded the color of the respondent's skin using a color card with skin color gradients from 1-10 (1 being lightest and 10 being darkest) to determine a color that most closely corresponded to the respondent's facial coloring.

Respondents provided updated information about citizenship status in round 5-8 and again in rounds 10-13. In round 12, respondents were asked if they had a valid passport (YSAQ-INTRO-10). Additional information is available on the Geocode CD, including the state, territory, and country in which the respondent was born.

Also available is information about the birthplaces of respondent's maternal and paternal grandparents. The public data indicate whether the grandparents were born in the U.S. or territories, while the Geocode CD provides additional details about their birthplaces.

In Round 15, audio data were collected to learn about the relationship between a worker's speech and his/her labor market success. The focus of the data collection was on African/American respondents and Southern white respondents. Click here for more details about these data.

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys:  Race is available for all cohorts; ethnicity is available for all cohorts except the Older Men and Young Men. Users should be aware that coding categories for race and ethnicity have varied among cohorts and over time. For more complete information, refer to the appropriate cohort's User's Guide.

Survey Instruments:  This information was collected in the extended screener section of the round 1 Screener, Household Roster, and Nonresident Roster Questionnaire

Related User's Guide Sections Household Composition
Characteristics of Non-Residential Relatives
Parent Characteristics
Main Area of Interest Demographic Indicators
Supplemental Areas of Interest Household Characteristics
Non-Res. Characteristics
Parent Background