Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Pew Research Center > Summary


In order to explore the complex nature of religion among Latinos, the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life collaborated on a set of public opinion surveys. Bilingual telephone interviewing for the Primary Survey was conducted from August 10, 2006 to October 4, 2006, and produced a nationally representative sample of 4,016 Latino respondents age 18 and older. The margin of error for this sample is 2.5% at the 95% confidence level.

Between January 5, 2007 and January 29, 2007, 650 of the Catholic respondents from the Primary Survey were recontacted. This Recontact Survey produced a sample representative of the 2,025 Catholic respondents first interviewed in the Primary Survey, with a margin of error of 5.7%.

Results of both surveys are combined into one SPSS dataset.

Data File
Cases: 4,016
Variables: 230
Weight Variable: NWWEIGHT, F_WEIGHT
Cases should be weighted by the weight variable NWWEIGHT when analyzing the entire sample from the Primary Survey. Cases should be weighted by the weight variable F_WEIGHT only when analyzing the Catholic subsample from the Recontact Survey.
Data Collection
Date Collected: August 10 to October 4, 2006
Funded By
The Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Collection Procedures
The study was conducted for the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life via telephone
by ICR, an independent research company based in Media, PA. Interviews were conducted from August 10 to October 4, 2006, among a nationally representative sample of 4,016 Latino respondents age 18 and older. A total of 2,025 are Catholic and 905 are Evangelical Protestants.

For this survey, ICR maintained a staff of Spanish-speaking interviewers who, when contacting a household, were able to offer respondents the option of completing the survey in Spanish or in English. A total of 1,036 respondents were surveyed in English and 2,949 respondents were interviewed in Spanish, with the remaining 31 interviews conducted partly in English and partly in Spanish.

All interviews were conducted using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system, which ensures that questions were asked in the proper sequence with appropriate skip patterns. CATI also allows certain questions and certain answer choices to be rotated, eliminating potential biases from the sequencing of questions or answers.

The survey was administered to any person age 18 and older who was of Latino origin or descent, though some screening was necessary to interview fewer Mexicans and fewer Central Americans. The survey used a modified most recent birthday method of selecting a respondent in each household; interviewers first asked to speak with the adult male in the household who had the most recent birthday, and if no male was available interviewers asked to speak with the adult female who had the most recent birthday.
Sampling Procedures
A disproportionate stratified sample constructed using an optimal sampling allocation technique was used for the survey. A list of all telephone exchanges within a target area (national, by state, etc.) were sorted based on both concentration of Latino households and specific Latino heritage. The exchanges were then divided into various groups, or strata.

The primary stratification variables are the estimates of Latino household incidence and heritage in each area code and exchange combination as provided by the GENESYS System. These estimates are derived from Claritas, a marketing information company, and are updated at the telephone exchange level with each quarterly GENESYS database update. The basic procedure was to rank all area code and exchange combinations in the US by the incidence of Latino households and their ethnicity. This produced strata that were called Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American, South American, High Latino, Medium Latino, and Low Latino. These strata were then run against InfoUSA and other listed telephone number databases, to identify households with known Latino surnames. Any households with Latino surnames were subdivided into ‘surname’ strata, with all other sample being put into ‘RDD’ strata.

Overall, the study employed 18 strata, 9 (Mexican, Puerto Rican, etc.) x 2 (surname/RDD). Two features of this design are worth noting. First, the existence of surname strata does not mean this was a surname sample design. The sample is RDD, with telephone numbers divided into strata according to whether or not they were found to be associated with a Latino surname. This was done simply to increase the number of strata (thereby increasing the ability to meet ethnic targets) and to ease administration (allowing for more effective assignment of interviewers and labor hours). Second, even though some strata were labeled by country of origin based on data base information, any Hispanic sampled from the stratum was accepted as a valid respondent for the study. For example, in a stratum called “Mexican,” both Mexicans and non-Mexicans who appeared in the stratum were interviewed.

For purposes of estimation, an optimal allocation scheme was employed. This “textbook” approach allocates interviews to a stratum proportionate to the number of Latino households, but inversely proportionate to the square root of the relative cost, the relative cost in this situation being a simple function of the incidence. As such, the number of completed interviews increases in moving from lower incidence strata to higher incidence strata. Again, this is a known, formulaic approach to allocation that provides a starting point for discussions of sample allocation and associated costs.

One of the major goals of the study was to attain sufficient numbers of non-Catholic Hispanics, since overall about a third of Hispanics say they are not Catholic. The study was designed so that in fact roughly 50% of all completes were from non-Catholics. This was done using two strategies. First, non-Catholics from all ICR-conducted Pew studies from 2002 to the present were recontacted for this survey. Second, additional completes were obtained among non-Catholic Hispanics using the sample design described above.
Principal Investigators
The Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Related Publications
Complete Report: http://pewforum.org/newassets/surveys/hispanic/hispanics-religion-07-final-mar08.pdf

Topline Survey Results: http://pewforum.org/newassets/surveys/hispanic/hispanics-religion-07-topline-final-feb08.pdf
Data Structure
The 2007 Hispanic Religion Survey dataset contains results from two separate telephone survey efforts. The Primary Survey produced a sample of 4,016 records. A sample of 650 of the persons identified as Catholics during this first phase of surveying were then recontacted and asked a supplemental set of questions. All 4,016 records contain data for the questionnaire items from the Primary Survey, but only the 650 records for recontacted Catholic respondents have data for the Recontact Survey variables.
Differences in Variable Names
This data file contains several variables that are named differently in the ARDA codebook. This renaming procedure was performed in order to facilitate ARDA processing.

All of the variables from the Recontact Survey are given the prefix F1406_ in this data file, whereas in the ARDA codebook, these variables are given the prefix F_. For example, the variable named F1406_qn1 in the data file corresponds to the variable F_QN1 in the ARDA codebook. (The sole exception to this rule is the variable labeled F1406_qn15_TIME in the data file, which is assigned the name F_QN15_T in the ARDA codebook.)

In addition to the Recontact Survey, variables, the following variables are given different names in the ARDA codebook than they were given in the data file (the variable's name in the ARDA codebook is listed first, and the corresponding variable in the data file is given in parentheses):

PRIMLANG (Primary_Language)
CHRSTIAN (christian)
NWWEIGHT (newweight)
Note 1: Primary Language (PRIMLANG) Coding
Explanation of how the variable PRIMLANG was coded:

PRIMLANG is a variable derived from the sum of respondents' scores on the variables ENGLISH and SPANISH.

Respondent is coded as English Dominant if their score on the variable ENGLISH is two or more points greater than their score on the variable SPANISH (e.g., English=4 and Spanish=2).

Respondent is coded as Spanish Dominant if their score on the variable SPANISH is two or more points greater than their score on the variable ENGLISH (e.g., English=1 and Spanish=3).

Respondent is coded as Bilingual if their score on the variable SPANISH is equal to their score on the variable ENGLISH (e.g., English=3 and Spanish=3).

Respondent is also coded as Bilingual if there is a one-point difference between the respondent's scores on the variables SPANISH and ENGLISH (e.g., English=2 and Spanish=1).
Note 2: CHRSTIAN Coding
Explanation of how the variable CHRSTIAN was coded:

CHRSTIAN is a variable derived by recoding the variable RELIG. Respondents who reported being Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Orthodox, or "Other - Christian" (and were given scores of 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, or 96, respectively) on the variable RELIG were coded as being Christian and received a score of 1 on the variable CHRSTIAN. Those who reported being No religion/secular, Jewish, Muslim, or "Other - non-Christian," or Don't know/Refused (and were given scores of 0, 5, 6, 97, 98, or 99, respectively) on the variable RELIG were coded as being Not Christian and received a score of 0 on the variable CHRSTIAN.
Note 3: RELTRAD Coding
Explanation of how the variable RELTRAD is coded:

RELTRAD is a variable created by recoding and combining the variables RELIG and QN25.

Respondents who reported being Catholic on RELIG (RELIG=1) were coded as being Catholic on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=10).

Respondents who reported being Protestant (RELIG=2) or "Other - Christian" (RELIG=96) on RELIG and who described themselves as "born-again" or evangelical Christians on QN25 (QN25=1) were coded as Evangelical on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=20).

Respondents who reported being Protestant (RELIG=2) or "Other - Christian" (RELIG=96) on RELIG and who did not describe themselves as being "born-again" or evangelical Christians on QN25 (QN25=2, 8, or 9) were coded as Mainline on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=30).

Respondents who reported being Jehovah's Witnesses (RELIG=3), Mormon (RELIG=4), or Orthodox (RELIG=7) on RELIG were coded as "Other Christian" on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=40).

Respondents who reported being Jewish (RELIG=5), Muslim (RELIG=6), or other "Other - non-Christian" (RELIG=97) on RELIG were coded as Non-Christian on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=50).

Respondents who reported having No Religion or being Secular (RELIG=0) on RELIG were coded as Secular on RELTRAD (RELTRAD=60).