Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Common Measures Used, Pros and Cons


Most surveys reviewed collected the respondents date of birth, often at the beginning of the survey to screen for the correct respondent. Some surveys (Alameda and Nebraska) asked for both the respondents date of birth and the age. We believe this is not necessary, since respondents age can be calculated from their date of birth.

Demographic and Other Background Characteristics Number of Items Past Survey(s) Estimate of Time (minutes) Priority Rating
Age, Date of birth 1 WES; MO; NE; IL .25 A
Race 1 WES; MO; NE; IL; NSAF .25 A
Ethnicity 1 MO; NE; IL; NSAF .25 A
Marital status 1 WES; MO; NE; AC; IL; NSAF .25 A
Living with spouse 1 NE; AC .25 B
Cohabitation status 1 WES; NE; AC .25 A
Educational Attainment
Highest grade completed 1 WES; MO; NE; AC; IL .25 A
Types of diplomas, degrees, or certificates received 1 MO; NE; IL .25 B
Household Composition
Number of people in the Household 1 MO; NE; AC; IL; NSAF; SPD .50 A
Relationship of people to Respondent 1 MO; AC; IL .25 A
Age of children in Household 3 NE .75 A
Whether Respondent has children not currently living with him/her 1 NE; AC; IL .25 A
Where are they living now? 1 IL .25 B
Why are they living there? 1 IL .25 B
Pregnancies and Births
Whether Respondent had a child in past year 1 WES; AC .25 C
Living Arrangements and Family Mobility
Does Respondent live in public housing? 1 WES; MO; NE; NSAF .25 A
How many bedrooms in Respondents home 1 AC; IL; NSAF .25 A
Does current housing situation interfere with work or training? 1 AC .25 A
How many times did Respondent move in past 12 months? 1 MO; AC; IA .25 A
Why did Respondent move (the last time)? 1 MO .25 B

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