Geographic Residence & Neighborhood Composition

Geographic Residence & Neighborhood Composition

Created Variables

PUBLIC USE VARIABLES

  • Region of residence at birth, age 14, and survey dates (Northeast, North Central, South, or West)
  • Information on whether the current residence is in an urban or rural county
    • Through 1996, this series was based on the respondent's State and county of residence and the "% urban population" data from the County & City Data Book.  From 1998-2002 this item was based on whether the respondent was living in an urbanized area or in area with a population greater than 2,500.  Beginning in 2004, this item indicates whether the respondent resides within an urban cluster or urbanized area.   For further information see the Geocode Codebook Supplement.
  • Information on whether the current residence is in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the central city of an MSA, or outside of an MSA
    • Based upon zip code, State, and county matches with metropolitan statistical designations for place of residence, the location of the respondent is determined to be within or outside of a metropolitan statistical area
  • Beginning in 1988, whether the current residence is in the United States

GEOCODE FILE VARIABLES

  • The specific county and State (both edited) of residence at the time of interview, coded with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) codes
  • Similar information is provided for the respondent's residence at birth and at age 14
  • The specific metropolitan area of residence at the time of interview.  As applicable, information may be included for the following types of metropolitan areas:
    • SMSA-Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area
    • MSA-Metropolitan Statistical Area
    • CMSA-Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
    • PMSA-Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area
    • NECMA-New England County Metropolitan Area
    • CBSA-Core Based Statistical Area
  • Distance between respondent addresses at each interview round
  • This supplements the data on state and county of residence and is available only on the geocode release
  • The distance between the respondent’s addresses at each date of interview was created for all unique pairs of survey years
  • The data described here do not actually provide a location for the respondent's residence; these variables only provide distances between the various places the respondent lives
  • This pairwise matrix of variables enables various types of migration research by enabling users to consider the distance between residences and to identify return migration to an area where the respondent has lived in the past
  • Indicators of the quality of the geographic data:
    • May not have an address for the respondent
    • In such cases the respondent's address is geocoded to the centroid of the zipcode when we can determine the zipcode
    • To identify these cases, an indicator for the quality of this distance measure was created based on the quality of the matches in both years
  • Indicator for whether the respondent was located in the same zip code, was created for all pairs of years

 

Important Information About Using Geocode Data

  • The level of detail available determines whether a variable is placed within the restricted release "Geocode xxxx" files. For example, general country level information, such as whether the respondent resided at various points in time within or outside of the United States, is available to all users with no restriction, while the specific county or SMSA in which he or she resided at a specific interview point is present only within the restricted release Geocode data files.
  • Researchers interested in obtaining this Geocode CD must submit an application to BLS and agree to meet security requirements.  For more information about the Geocode application process, see http://www.bls.gov/nls/geocodeapp.htm.  
  • The "Misc. xxxx" areas of interest contain a set of variables titled 'Does R Live on a Farm or in a Rural Area?'  The interviewer answers this question based on observation when at the respondent's permanent residence; if the interview takes place elsewhere, the interviewer asks the respondent about the place of residence.  There are no consistent criteria for the definition of nonfarm property as rural.  These variables should not be considered a replacement for the created KEY VARIABLE, 'Current Residence Urban/Rural?'  
  • The coding of respondents' geographic location before 1993 required extensive hand-editing and may not be completely accurate.  The most common error is the potential assignment of a respondent to an adjacent county of residence.  Data on addresses, zip codes, and phone numbers are used to clean the geographic codes.  The post-1988 use of telephone number information improved data quality.  A brief discussion below provides more information on both the hand-edits performed each year and the created variable that indicates the extent of hand-editing required for each case; see Appendix 10 in the Geocode Codebook Supplement for more details.

Geographic data for NLSY79 respondents fall into two categories: information on the main public file and more detailed information released on a restricted-access geocode CD.  Table 1 lists NLSY79 geographic variables along with their areas of interest. Variables with a "Geocode xxxx" area of interest are on the geocode CD; all others are public use.

Table 1. Select Residence Variables by Survey Year and Area of Interest: NLSY79 Main and Geocode Files

Variables Survey Year(s) Area of Interest Documentation
Residence at Birth      
  Country - U.S. or Other Country 1979, 1983 Geocode 1979 --
  Country - Actual Other Country 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 101
  County 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 102
  State 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 102
  South/Non-South 1979 Family Background Attachment 100
Residence at Age 14      
  Country - U.S. or Other Country 1979 Geocode 1979 --
  Country - Actual Other Country 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 101
  County 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 102
  State 1979 Geocode 1979 Attachment 102
  South/Non-South 1979 Family Background Attachment 100
  Area of Residence - Urban/Rural 1979 Family Background User's Guide and Appendix 6
Present Residence      
  Lived in Since Birth 1979 Family Background --
  Year of Move to 1979 Family Background --
Most Recent Residence      
  5th-1st Country/County/State Since Jan. 1978 1979 Geocode 1979  Attachment 101
Attachment 102
  Month/Year of Move(s) 1979 Family Background --
  5th-1st Country/County/State Since Last Int. 1980 Geocode 1980 Attachment 101
Attachment 102
  Month/Year of Move(s) 1980 Family Background Attachment 102
  9th-1st Country/County/State Since 1980 Int. 1982 Geocode 1982 Attachment 101
Attachment 102
  Month/Year of Move(s) 1982 Family Background --
Current Residence      
  Region 1979-2010 Key Variables Attachment 100
  Urban/Rural 1979-2010 Key Variables User's Guide and Appendix 6
  SMSA/Central City 1979-2010 Key Variables User's Guide and Appendix 6
  In U.S. 1988-2010 Misc. xxxx NLSY79 User's Guide
  County 1979-2010 Geocode xxxx Attachment 102
  State 1979-2010 Geocode xxxx Attachment 102
  SMSA 1979-2002 Geocode xxxx Attachment 104
  PMSA 1983-2002 Geocode xxxx Attachment 104
  MSA 1983-2002 Geocode xxxx Attachment 104
  CMSA 1983-2002 Geocode xxxx Attachment 104
  MSA/CMSA/NECMA 1988-2004 Geocode xxxx Appendix 10
  CBSA 2006-2010 Geocode xxxx Appendix 10

Related Variables: Related NLSY79 main file variables discussed in the  "Household Composition" and "Family Background" sections of this guide include:

  • Type of residence or dwelling unit at the time of interview (such as dorm, hospital, jail, orphanage, own home, and so forth)
  • Childhood living arrangements of NLSY79 respondents from birth to age 18, including not only information on persons with whom the respondent lived (such as biological versus adoptive and step-parents) but also on institutions such as children's homes, group care homes, or detention centers/jails/prisons in which he or she may have resided.