National Agricultural Workers Survey

Public Data Content & File Formats

There are three data files. The primary or National Agricultural Workers Survey Public Access Data (NAWSPAD) file corresponds to the base questionnaire; two smaller files correspond to supplemental questions that ETA administered for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Prior to accessing the data files, users are encouraged to review supporting documentation, discussed below. To obtain copies of the base questionnaire and the supplemental questions, see the Questionnaire section of this website.

The files, described below, are available in three formats: SAS, Microsoft Excel, and comma-separated-values (CSV). The CSV files are available for both MS-DOS-compatible computers and Macintosh computers.

NAWSPAD

The NAWSPAD file contains 226 questionnaire variables and 113 summary and analytic variables from 66,553 in-person interviews that were administered in 47 states and 696 counties during federal fiscal years 1989-2016 (October 1, 1988, to September 30, 2016). Users can analyze these data for the United States and six regions. California is the only single-state region. County-level data are not available.

NAWSPAD analysis guidance is available in An Introduction to Analyzing the NAWS Public Access Data.

Two codebooks support this file:

The spreadsheet NAWSPAD Variables 2016 lists the variables. There are three tabs in the spreadsheet, one each for the complete set of variables, the created variables only, and the questionnaire variables only. The number of analytic/created and questionnaire variables in the spreadsheet sums to 361; however, there are 358 unique variables. Three variables - the respondent identifier 'FWID', the fiscal year of interview 'FY', and the composite weight 'PWTYCRD' - are in both the created variables and questionnaire variables tabs.

The NAWSPAD file includes 28 years of cross-sectional data that researchers can use in trend analysis. Over this period, the sample size fluctuated from 1,500 to 3,600 a year. The weight variable (PWTYCRD) includes a factor that correctly proportions the annual data so that it can be analyzed over time. Due to the relatively small sample sizes, ETA recommends that researchers combine at least two years of data for national-level analyses. Two years of data is sufficient for some but not all regional-level analyses. For some regional-level estimates, researchers should combine four years of data.

The survey's content has changed over time; however, most of the core variables have not changed significantly. When changes have occurred, variables have been harmonized to facilitate trend analysis.

The 1989-2016 NAWSPAD file supports the fiscal year 2016 questionnaire. Data from discontinued questions are not included in the file.

The data include the following:

  • Responses to questions on demographics, employment, and health;
  • Summary variables on household composition that have been tabulated from the questionnaire's family grid;
  • Summary variables on employment history that have been tabulated from the questionnaire's 12-month work grid;
  • Analytical variables that are commonly used in analyses of NAWS data; and
  • An analytic variable for identifying migrant workers. This variable indicates whether a respondent traveled a distance of more than 75 miles between two farm jobs or between a farm job and a usual residence during the past year. Additional analytic and summary variables allow analysts to create custom definitions of migrant and seasonal workers.

NIOSH File

The NIOSH supplemental questions were administered in fiscal years 2009-2010. They gathered occupational mental health information. The NIOSH file contains 3,691 observations, 35 questionnaire variables, and 2 analytic variables. Prior to accessing the file, users are encouraged to review the NIOSH codebook and NIOSH Mental Health Supplement Users’ Guide, and obtain a copy of the NIOSH Mental Health supplemental questions.

EPA File

The EPA supplemental questions were administered in fiscal years 2013-2014. They gathered information on the hours per day respondents worked, the protective clothing they wore, and their clothes laundering and hygiene practices. The EPA file contains 4,325 observations, 20 questionnaire variables, and 17 created variables. Prior to accessing the file, users are encouraged to review the EPA codebook and obtain a copy of the EPA supplemental questions.

The NIOSH and EPA Variables spreadsheet lists the variables in the NIOSH and EPA files