How Are Immigrants Faring After Welfare Reform?. Sample Size and Response Rates


The unweighted sample sizes for the survey were: (52)

Category Los Angeles New York City Total
Number of households 1,893 1,554 3,347
Number of focal people:
Total focal 4,750 3,096 7,846
Respondents 1,893 1,554 3,447
Spouses 1,066 654 1,720
Children 0-5 634 275 909
Children 6-17 968 469 1,437
Elderly* 84 98 182
Second respondents 105 46 151
Total number of people, including non-focal 7,031 4,201 11,232

* There are also some people 65 or older who are classified as respondents or spouses.

Although the total sample size of people was substantially larger in Los Angeles, the number of households in each city was relatively close. Immigrant households in Los Angeles tend to have more members than those in New York, so the total unweighted sample size differed. As noted below, sample weights were used to scale the relative differences in the two cities.

The overall response rate for LANYCIS was 69 percent, although the rate was lower in New York City than Los Angeles.(53) Although there are few comparable surveys, we felt that the response rate was reasonable, given the expected difficulties of contacting and interviewing immigrants (particularly low-income immigrants) in urban areas. The response rate is based on responses of the primary respondent; the rate for the second respondent (R2) was substantially lower (34 percent). After a lengthy interview with one person in a household, it was hard to secure an interview with another household member. The table below summarizes various components of the survey and their respective response rates for the primary respondent.

Response rates for primary respondent Los Angeles Co. New York City Both Cities
RDD 70% 65%  
In-person, from food stamp list 83% 73%  
Telephone, from food stamp list 77% 63%  
Area 97% 45%
Overall 72% 65% 69%

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