Questionnaire Language of 1990 Census

I know the 1990 Long Form was offered in (at least) both English and Spanish. Does anyone know if there is public data on which questionnaire the responded filled out?
Is this publicly available for any of the self response long forms or the ACS?

I know there are two questions on language (language spoken at home and English ability), but these are presumably not that same as the language of the questionnaire that people were reading/filling out. (And I have no idea how often Spanish speakers would use the English questionnaire vs. ask for a Spanish, as calling a number and getting a new form sounds like a lot of extra steps.)

The original PUMS data files released by the Census Bureau, upon which IPUMS USA census and ACS data files are based, do not include indicators for language used in the interview. The PUMS do include a question on language spoken at home (IPUMS variable LANGUAGE) and a question on English language ability (IPUMS variable SPEAKENG). Any information retained on the language of the questionnaire or interview would be internal to the Census Bureau.

Thank you for the confirmation! I was hoping that I missed a variable.

FWIW, I just took a quick look at the version of the confidential 1990 Decennial data that is most widely available for research use, and I don’t believe information on the language of the questionnaire or interview is on there. This suggests to me that that information for 1990 Decennial is currently not digitized.

1 Like