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Marital Status Fact Sheet

Differences in the Marital Status Estimates from the American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, Survey of Income and Program Participation, and Decennial Census

May, 2009

Comparability Matrix For Marital Status Data:
Topic ACS CPS SIPP Decennial
Geography County, places Nation and regions National estimates Nations, states, and track level data for census 2000
Timeliness Released year after collection cycle Released year after March collection Once every panel from data collected in wave 2 marital history module Usually produced 2 years after each census collection
Historical data Marital status from 2000 and annual marriage and divorce data beginning in 2008 Marital status from 1960-marital history every 5 years between 1971-1995 Retrospective time series produced from each wave Data shown for 1950-2000 No marital status data collected in 2010 census
Electronic Access Ferret-file
Tables-American Fact Finder
Tables-home page
Tables-American Fact Finder
Public Use Files Yes Yes Yes Yes
Detail of tables Race and geography by one way distribution Most detail in CPS Characteristics of spouses and unmarried partners Detail tables showing intervals between marriage and divorce--also shows basic marital distributions Race and geography by one way distribution
Technical issues Annual marriage and divorce estimates, times married and year of last marriage collected in addition to basic marital status item Marital history data collected between 1971 and 1995 in June surveys. Basic marital status item collected in every month of the CPS Data on marital history collected for men and women for up to three marriages in addition to basic marital status item Only estimates of married couples and unmarried partners available from house-hold relationship item
Periodicity of data collection Every year Every year Once every panel: 3-4 years Once every 10 years
Standard errors available Only for published tables Can be computed by data user Can be computed by data user Can be computed by data user

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Families and Living Arrangements |  Last Revised: 2012-11-13T16:33:47.688-05:00