U.S. Department of Commerce

Current Population Reports

Survey Data

Current Population Survey

Much of the current population data is derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which is a sample household survey of the noninstitutional civilian population in the United States. Its primary task is to produce monthly statistics on unemployment and the labor force, which are published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly bulletin Employment and Earnings. Much of the data collected is also available at the CPS Internet Site.

The CPS also serves as a vehicle for supplemental studies on subjects other than employment, such as tobacco use and marital and birth history.

The data from CPS are available in reports and microdata files. From the basic and supplemental data, the Census Bureau issues three report series:

  1. P20, Population Characteristics
    Reports in this series contain information on geographic residence and mobility; school enrollment; marital status and living arrangements; households and families; and the Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic populations. These reports, many of which were issued every year, are now issued every-other-year. In the off year, detailed tables may be accessed online, free of charge, at the Census Bureau's Internet Site.

  2. P23, Special Studies
    Information pertaining to methods, concepts, or specialized data is furnished in these publications. In addition, this series includes occasional reports on family life, women, voter turnout, computer use, and other topics.

  3. P60, Consumer Income and Poverty
    Information concerning families, individuals, and households at various income levels is presented in this group of reports. Data are also presented on noncash benefits and the relationship of income to age, sex, race, family size, education, occupation, work experience, and other characteristics. The letters "RD" for reports occasionally issued in this and other series refer to "research and development." Such reports use an experimental approach.

Survey of Income and Program Participation

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a sample household survey of the noninstitutional population in the United States conducted by the Census Bureau. The survey collects data from the same household over time, usually for 32 months. The survey's principal purpose is to provide estimates of money and in-kind income and participation in government programs. Recurrent questions focus on employment, types of income, and noncash benefits. Periodically, the survey also includes questions on other topics, such as assets and liability, disability, and child care. From time to time, special supplemental questions are also asked.

The data from SIPP are available in reports are available in reports and microdata files. Much of the data collected is available at the SIPP Internet Site. The report series is: P70, Household Economic Studies

Population Estimates and Projections

The Census Bureau updates the population figures from the decennial census of population and housing by issuing estimates in intervening years. The methods employed to make these estimates include the use of administrative records, such as those maintained by the U.S. Social Security Administration and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The Census Bureau also issues population projections. In large part, these projections are made by the use of statistical methods.

These population estimates and projections are available in reports and data files. The data files are available at the Census Bureau internet site under the Estimates and Projections areas. The report series is: P25, Population Estimates and Projections.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Systems Support Division | Last Revised: July 18, 2013