Each Understanding America Study survey data set contains a series of default survey and background demographics variables. These are listed below as well as described here.

Default survey variables

The default survey variables in an UAS survey data set consist of individual, household and sample identifiers, language indicator, time stamps and a rating by the respondent of how much he or she liked the survey:

  1. U.S. National Territory: recruited through ABS within the entire U.S.
  2. Areas high concentration Native Americans: recruited through ABS in areas with a high concentration of Native Americans in the zip-code. Within these batches, individuals who are not Native Americans are not invited to join the UAS.
  3. Los Angeles County: recruited through ABS within Los Angeles County.
  4. California: recruited through ABS within California.

Note: this variable was renamed from "sampletype" to "sampleframe" starting March 6, 2024. Older data sets will contain a variable named "sampletype" with slightly different labels for the four sample frames. The answer codes remain the same for each frame.

Note: this variable's answer category labels were renamed starting March 6, 2024. Older data sets will have different value labels, the answer codes remain the same for each batch.

Background demographics

Every UAS survey data set also includes demographic variables, which provide background information about the respondent and household. Demographic information such as age, ethnicity, education, marital status, work status, state of residence, family structure is elicited every quarter through the My Household survey. The demographic variables provided with each survey are taken from the most recent ‘MyHousehold’ survey answered by the respondent. The variables are cleaned conform the mapping from the raw to cleaned UAS standard variables as described here. If at the time of a survey, the information in My Household is more than three months old, a respondent is required to check and update the information before being able to take the survey.

The following variables are available in each survey data set and describe a respondent's characteristics as known at the time of the last My Household survey they filled out:

As an example, if the first household member is in the household at the time of the survey, hhmemberin_1 is set to "1 HH Member 1 is in the HH"; if he/she has moved out, hhmemberin_1 is set to "0 HH member 1 is no longer in the HH". Since information of other household members (stored in the variables listed below) is always included in survey data sets, information about hhmemberin_1 is available whether this person is still in the household or has moved out.

Additional My Household information

The My Household data set provides all the variables listed above (with the exception of CS_001). In addition, it comes with the following indicator variables: