Southeast Asian Refugee Self-Sufficiency Study, 1982 (ICPSR 8454)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Nathan Caplan; John K. Whitmore

Version V2

This survey gauged the economic and social status of Southeast Asian refugees who arrived in the United States after September 1978, a group generally known as the "Boat People." Special emphasis was placed on investigating how these refugees adapted to life in the United States and achieved economic self-sufficiency. The survey asked about educational and occupational backgrounds, household composition, family size, secondary migration after arrival in the United States, English proficiency, health problems, health care, insurance coverage, employment, earned income, rent payments, automobile ownership, and the use of government and private programs providing income assistance, vocational training, and other kinds of services. Respondents also were queried about financial setbacks incurred since arrival in the United States, financial support of persons living outside the household, membership in clubs and associations, problems faced in adjusting to life in the United States, degree of satisfaction with housing, neighborhood, services received, and life as a whole, and perceptions about prospects for the future.

Caplan, Nathan, and Whitmore, John K. Southeast Asian Refugee Self-Sufficiency Study, 1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS-100-81-0064)


1982 (summer and fall)

The data in the hierarchical file (Part 1) are organized into three levels of hierarchy: (1) households, (2) families, and (3) individuals. In all, the data cover 6,775 members of 2,493 families residing in 1,384 households, for a total of 10,652 records of all types. Of the 6,775 family members, 1,384 are respondents, 2,776 are other adults, and 2,615 are children. Level 1 contains 494 variables and has one record per household. Level 2 contains 63 variables and has one record per family. Level 3 has a single record for each individual. It contains 308 variables for respondents, 309 for other adults, and 21 for children. To use these files, users need to refer to the dictionary listings (Part 7) for column locations and to the codebook for code explanations.

Probability sample of Southeast Asian refugee households in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, and Orange County, California. Sampling included area probability samples and probability sampling from administrative lists.

Vietnamese, Sino-Vietnamese, and Lao refugees who arrived in the United States after September 1978.

personal interviews

survey data




  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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