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Current Population Survey Data on Families and Living Arrangements

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years. Data about families and living arrangements are collected annually as part of the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). For CPS definitions and explanations, or for additional information information about the Current Population Survey, visit the CPS website. Historical Time Series

Data Tables, Products and Reports

An annual table package is produced with national level living arrangements and characteristics for adults, children, married couples, unmarried couples, households, and families. These tables are among the most detailed published by the Bureau. CPS collects data about the presence and type (bio, step, adoptive) of two parents in the household for everyone, as well as the presence of a spouse or cohabiting partner. This allows for detail about children’s living arrangements and subfamilies which is not possible in ACS and Decennial Census data.

America’s Families and Living Arrangements

Detailed Tables and Reports 1993-1999

Previous Households and Families Reports: 1978-1992

Historical Time Series

Other Technical and Analytical Reports

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.

Fact Sheet: Differences in the Households and Family Estimates from the American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, Survey of Income and Program Participation, and Decennial Census Participation, and Decennial Census.

Comparison of ACS and ASEC Data on Households and Families: 2004 [PDF]

Related Papers and Presentations


Increase in Opposite-sex Cohabiting Couples from 2009 to 2010 in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) [PDF - 515K] , by Rose M. Kreider. Issued September 2010.

Historical Changes in Stay-at-Home Mothers: 1969 to 2009 
  • Paper [PDF - 977K] , by Rose M. Kreider and Diana B. Elliott. Presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta, GA, August 14-17, 2010.
  • Presentation [PPT - 464K]
The Complex Living Arrangements of Children and Their Unmarried Parents 
  • Abstract [PDF - 53K] , by Rose M. Kreider and Diana B. Elliott. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Detroit, MI, April 30-May 2, 2009.
  • Poster [PDF - 1.2K]
Improvements to Demographic Household Data in the Current Population Survey: 2007 [PDF - 95K] , by Rose M. Kreider. Issued March 2008.

Paper Number 36 - How Does POSSLQ Measure Up? Historical Estimates of Cohabitation, by Lynne M. Casper, Philip N. Cohen, and Tavia Simmons. Issued May 1999.

Paper Number 35 - Racial-Ethnic and Gender Differences in Returns to Cohabitation and Marriage: Evidence from the Current Population Survey, by Philip N. Cohen. Issued May 1999.

Paper Number 26 - Co-resident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: Grandparent Maintained Families, by Lynne M. Casper and Kenneth R. Bryson. Issued March 1998.


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Families and Living Arrangements |  Last Revised: 2014-01-23T14:40:21.066-05:00