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Wilder Research Center Survey collection

Identifier: IHRC2854


Report of key findings under the title Speaking for themselves: A survey of Hispanic, Hmong, Russian, and Somali immigrants in Minneapolis-Saint Paul is available from Wilder Research Center. This survey is unusual for several reasons. First, unlike many surveys that gauge people's opinions about immigrants, this one asked immigrants themselves about their own experiences, and in their own language. Second, this survey provides a snapshot of not just one immigrant group but of the four major groups in the Twin Cities area. And third, the random sampling method and large scale of this survey make it possible to study differences among the four groups as well as common themes in their experiences.

Method: This was a random household survey in neighborhoods likely to have large numbers of immigrants, based on school enrollment and census information. Wilder Research Center screened more than 12,000 households to find adults born in other countries. Seventy-four percent of those invited to participate completed the interview, for a total of 1,119 respondents.

Margin of error: For results based on the entire sample, there is a 95% probability that the margin of error is no more than plus or minus 3 percentage points. In other words, differences of less than 6 percentage points are inconclusive. For results based on a specific subgroup of immigrants, such as Hmong, the margin of error rises to plus or minus 6.5 percentage points. In other words, do not draw any conclusions about differences among immigrant groups unless the percentage varies by more than 13 points.

Download options for University of Minnesota users: You will need to download the survey data using one of three options listed below. You will then use your own software to view the data and process your own reports. Be sure to review the survey text and file design to make sense of the coded data from the survey.

OPTION ONE After downlaoding the zip file, it is recommended that you use SPSS software to open the SAV file. For more information on SPSS software, visit their web site at:

pioneerp2 SPSS format (218KB)

OPTION TWO If you have access to Microsoft Excel software, you can save this spreadsheet on your computer. Click on the link below and either open the file or save it to your computer.

survey.xls Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (1,429KB)

OPTION THREE If you don't have access to the two specified software packages, you can save this ASCII, tab-delimited file. Just click' over the link below and choose the 'save' option. This will save the data file on your computer. You can then use your own software package to view and process the data. Be sure to review the information about this file.

pioneerp2 ASCII, tab-delimited format (291KB)

PROBLEMS DOWNLOADING? Feel free to contact the IHRCA Archives ( if you have difficulty downloading these files or if you are a non-UMN user and would like to download the files.


  • 2000

Language of Materials



Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.


2.4 Megabytes


In early 2000, the Wilder Research Center conducted a survey among four major immigrant groups in the Twin Cities area: Hispanic, Hmong, Russian, and Somali. The study was commissioned by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press as part of its civic journalism initiative, with funding from the Knight-Ridder Foundation. The IHRC and IHRC Archives agreed to store the digital files containing the survey data and provide access to the survey results to researchers via this finding aid.


Datasets created as part of the project were deposited at the IHRC Archives in 2000.

  • Hispanic Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Hmong (Asian people) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Language Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Russian Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Somali Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
IHRC Archives
Language of description
Script of description
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Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area