Protocol - Birthplace

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Protocol Name from Source:

American Community Survey (ACS), 2008


Publicly available


The respondent completes the self-administered questionnaire by indicating his or her place of birth. If he or she was born in the United States, an additional question captures the state, if known. If he or she was not born in the United States, another open-ended question asks for this location.


The following question has been revised from the original. Where were you born?

[ ] In the United States - Print name of state


[ ] Outside the United States - Print U.S. Territory (e.g., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam) or name of foreign country, etc.


Personnel and Training Required

This question may be self-administered (as in the source protocol) or administered by an interviewer with a paper-and-pencil or computer-assisted interview. The interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of personal interviews.* The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.

* There are multiple modes to administer this question (e.g., paper-and-pencil and computer-assisted interviews).

Equipment Needs

Either a paper-and-pencil or computer-assisted instrument may be used. If a computer-assisted instrument is used, computer software may be necessary to develop the instrument. The interviewer will require a laptop computer or handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.


Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualNo
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingNo

Mode of Administration

Life Stage:

Infant, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Senior, All Ages, Pregnancy

Specific Instructions:


Research Domain Information

Release Date:

May 31, 2016


Question asking the respondent in what country he or she was born.


Birthplace is requested to determine if the individual was born in the United States, in a U.S. Territory, or in a foreign country. Large national surveys like the U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ACS) use birthplace data to quantify immigration.

Selection Rationale

Birthplace can be informative of a respondent’s race/ethnicity and ancestry. Open-ended response was preferred to a coded list of countries.


English, Spanish


Common Data Elements (CDE)Person Geographic Birth Place Text2682009CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)Birthplace proto63046-7LOINC

Process and Review

The [link[phenx.org/node/102|Expert Review Panel #2]] (ERP 2) reviewed the measures in the Demographics, Environmental Exposures, and Social Environments domains.

Guidance from ERP 2 includes:

• No significant changes to measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive ([link[www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=browse.archive.protocols&id=10000|link]])


U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). American Community Survey (ACS), 2008. Washington, DC: Author. Question number: Person 1, #7.

General References

Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G) Data Schema and Harmonization Platform for Epidemiological Research (DataSHaPER).

U.S. Census Bureau. (2007). 2006 American Community Survey Content Test Report P.1. Evaluation report covering place of birth, U.S. citizenship status, and year of arrival. Washington, DC: Author.

Protocol ID:



Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX010201_BirthplacePX010201010000Where were you born?4Variable Mapping
PX010201_Birthplace_LocationPX010201020000Where were you born? In the United States - Print name of state. Outside the United States - Print U.S. Territory (e.g., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam) or name of foreign country etc.4Variable Mapping