Every UAS survey data set includes a series of key demographic variables, which provide background information about the respondent and household. The My Household survey inquires of UAS respondents their age, ethnicity, education, marital status, work status, state of residence and family structure, among other matters. To ensure the UAS panel’s data is current, My Household is administered quarterly to all respondents. If a respondent's My Household survey is more than three months old, they cannot participate in other surveys until their information is checked and updated.
The information gathered through the My Household survey is used in several ways:
- It provides quick insight into the demographics of the UAS respondents, such as its distribution by gender or income.
- A subset of the acquired data is employed in weighting procedures in order to ensure the representativeness of UAS survey respondents in relation to the general U.S. population. More information about these procedures can be found here.
- The data may be leveraged for a survey’s custom sample selection, such as only selecting respondents below a certain income threshold. It can also be used to target survey questions, for example to ask retirement-related questions only to those age 50 or older. For those who want to use the UAS, if a variable is key to your survey, a prudent approach is to explicitly present the question to respondents so they can explicitly confirm or change their answer to accurately reflect their situation at that time. This eliminates any potential discrepancies between the respondents’ situations and the data in their My Household survey, which may be approaching three months out of date.
A detailed listing of what is asked in the "My Household" survey can be found here.