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Kinder Houston Area Survey, 1982-2014: Successive Representative Samples of Harris County Residents (ICPSR 20428)

Published: Dec 22, 2015

Principal Investigator(s):
Stephen L. Klineberg, Rice University

Version V4

The Kinder Houston Area Survey is a longitudinal study that began in May 1982 after Houston, Texas, recovered from the recession of the mid-1980s. The overall purpose of this research was to measure systematically the public responses to the new economic, educational, and environmental challenges, and to make the findings of this continuing project readily available to civic and business leaders, to the general public, and to research scholars. Part 1, All Responses from 25 Successive Samples, contains all the responses from the successive representative samples of Harris County residents from 1982 through 2014. These are the data that enabled the project to analyze continuity and change among area residents over the course of 26 years. In 13 of the 14 surveys (the years from 1994 through 2014, the one exception being 1996), the surveys were expanded with oversample interviews in Houston's ethnic communities. Using identical random-selection procedures, and terminating after the first few questions if the respondent was not of the ethnic background required, additional interviews were conducted in each of the years to enlarge and equalize the samples of Anglo, African American, and Hispanic respondents at about 500 each. In 1995 and 2002, the research also included large representative samples (N=500) from Houston's Asian communities, with one-fourth of the interviews conducted in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean -- the only such surveys in the country. These additional interviews are included in Part 2, Additional Oversample Interviews.

The data contained in Part 2 are for Restricted-Use of Part 1, All Responses from 25 Successive Samples.

The data contained in Part 3 are based on a 14-year total of 6,576 Anglos, 6,086 African Americans, 6,094 Hispanics, and 1,250 Asians, along with 387 others, and are of particular value in assessing the similarities and differences both within and among Houston's (and America's) four largest ethnic groups. Beginning in 2003, the data files have incorporated detailed information from the 2000 Census on the characteristics of the respondent's neighborhood, not only at the level of home ZIP code, but also by Census tract and block group.

In Part 4, Restricted-Use information from 2000 Census, the data record the population and geographical area of each of the three sectors, distributions by ethnicity and immigrant status, age and gender composition, employment and commuting patterns, and levels of education and income. With this information incorporated in the datasets covering five years of expanded surveys, researchers are able to connect the respondents' perceptions and experiences with information on the neighborhoods in which they live, thereby adding a contextual dimension to analyses of the factors that account for individual differences in attitudes and beliefs. Conducted during February and March of each year, the interviews measured perspectives on the local and national economy, on poverty programs, inter-ethnic relationships. Also captured were respondents' beliefs about discrimination and affirmative action, education, crime, health care, taxation, and community service, as well as their assessments of downtown development, mobility and transit, land-use controls and environmental concerns, and their attitudes toward abortion, homosexuality, and other aspects of the social agenda. Also recorded were religious and political orientations, as well as an array of demographic and immigration characteristics, socioeconomic indicators, and family structures.

Klineberg, Stephen L. Kinder Houston Area Survey, 1982-2014: Successive Representative Samples of Harris County Residents. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-12-22.

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Public and restricted versions of the data are included in this collection. Due to the sensitive nature of the restricted data, users will need to complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement before they can obtain the restricted version. These forms can be accessed on the download page associated with this dataset.

1982 -- 2014

1994 -- 2014

2003 -- 2014

1982-02 -- 2014-03

1994-02 -- 2014-03

2003-02 -- 2014-03

The data files containing all 26 years of survey responses have been edited and reformatted.

Please note, a number of data responses from Part 3 are without corresponding Case/Respondent IDs. ICPSR initially received the data in this way and will release such information as is. However, ICPSR has verified that the Ns mentioned in the part 3 description regarding Houston's (America's) four largest ethnic groups are appropriately matched CASE/Respondent IDs and are not affected by this note.

The overall purpose of this research is to measure systematically the public's responses to the new economic, educational, environmental and ethnic challenges.

Using identical questions over the years, with new items added periodically, these countywide, random-digit-dialed, dual-frame, computer-assisted telephone interviews are selected randomly to adults living in households with a telephone (landline or cell). In each household reached by random digit dialing, the eligible respondent is selected randomly from all household members aged 18 or older, with initial preference given to an adult male.

In the early years, the sample sizes ranged from 412 to 550. Since 1990, they have been set at around 650.

All the adults in Harris County, Texas, aged 18 years or older, living in a household with a telephone.


survey data

telephone interview

In the 1980s, the response rate was 75 percent, and it has dropped to around 40 percent in the last few years.



2015-12-22 Parts 1 and 2 of the study have been updated to include data through the year 2014 and a few discrepancies have been corrected.

2014-04-04 The study has been updated to include data through the year 2013. A public and restricted version for "All responses from 25 successive samples" have been generated. ICPSR has blanked the zipcode variable, and top coded other direct and indirect identifiers in public version of the data (part 1). Users who wish to obtain this information will have to apply for the restricted version of the data (part 2). The part numbers have been changed to accommodate the addition of the restricted version of the data to the study. The codebooks for parts 3 and 4 have been updated to the new ICPSR style sheet and updated using the new ICPSR processing protocol.

2011-05-13 (1) The title of the study was changed to the Kinder Houston Area Survey by request of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. (2) The study now includes data through the year 2010.

2007-11-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data have been weighted to correct for variations in the likelihood of selection and to align the sample with known population characteristics, in order to correct for systemic under- or over-representation with regard to multiple demographic parameters. See Weighting Procedures in the appendix of the codebook for more information.


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

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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This study is provided by Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD).