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Current Population Survey

For over 60 years, the Census Bureau has conducted the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a source of data on employment and unemployment. Each month the survey contacts about 50,000 households and collects basic data on the characteristics of households and their labor force status: employment, job search, occupation, weeks worked, hours worked last week, etc. In most months, the survey asks supplemental questions on a variety of other subjects: income, poverty, education, migration, etc. More.

The Census Bureau releases CPS data in two forms: summary tabulations and microdata. Microdata are household and person records showing the actual responses made by a household on the questionnaire with identifying information such as name and address removed to preserve the confidentiality of the record. Microdata let customers design their own tabulations.

Customers wishing to access the Current Population Survey data have several options:

  • See the Current Population Survey home page.
  • Downloadable tabulations available free online on various subjects (income, poverty, migration, foreign born, educational attainment, computer, use, fertility, etc.). See the People and Households link on the Census Bureau home page.
  • Downloadable microdata files available free from DataFerrett
  • Downloadable publications available free in PDF. Go to the Publications link on the Census Bureau home page and click Population. Printed publications available free or for a fee from the Customer Services Center. Call 1-800-923-8282 for details.
  • CD-ROMs (see below) containing microdata files for various months available.

Current Population Survey on CD-ROM

Availability: CD-ROMs containing Current Population Survey Supplements. Some CD-ROMs contain all supplements issued within a certain time span while others only contain the March Annual Demographic File. See listing below for holdings.

Subject content: The Current Population Survey is a monthly survey conducted by the Census Bureau for the Department of Labor to collect data on employment and unemployment. The Census Bureau adds supplements to the survey to collect data on special topics: income, education, fertility, and others. The CD-ROM contains microdata showing the basic employment data as well as the supplemental data for a given month.

Microdata are household records showing the actual responses to survey questions; the Census Bureau removes names, addresses, and any other information that could lead to disclosure and violate the confidentiality of the records. Microdata allow users to create their own tabulations.

The Current Population Survey also serves as the source of many Census Bureau reports such as the annual income, poverty, and health insurance reports; all of these reports are available online in PDF at no charge and many are available in printed form free from the Customer Services Center. More information.

File structure & software: Hierarchical records, ASCII flat file, in compressed format.

Note: Microdata files are designed for advanced users with good data base skills or access to programming resources. Before you purchase a CPS file on disc, we strongly recommend you consult the file online and read the related reference material. Some users purchase these files only to find that they do not have the skills or resources to use them.

Census contact: Customer Services (orders), 301-763-INFO (4636); Current Population Survey Staff (content), 301-763-3806.

CD-ROM Products:


Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2010 (6)
Product ID: C6-C10-ALLF-06-US1
Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2010. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data were collected from respondents).


2000s Supplements


CPS Technical Documentation


2010 March: Annual Social and Economic (ASEC). See the CPS March Supplement online page and the Technical Documentation for the most up-to-date information. Since the online sources are the most up-to-date, the 2010 ASEC will no longer be part of this C6-C10-ALLF-06-US1 product.

2007 October: School Enrollment and Internet Use (revised)
2008 March-April: Match File / Child Support
2008 November: Civic Engagement (revised)
2009 January: Unbanked/Underbanked
2009 August: Veterans
2009 September: Volunteer
2009 October: School Enrollment and Internet Use (revised)
2009 November: Civil Engagement
2009 December: Food Security
2010 January: Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility



Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2009 (9)
Product ID: C9-C09-ALLF-06-US1
Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2009. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data were collected from respondents).

2000s Supplements

2007 October: School Enrollment and Internet Use (revised)
2008 March: Annual Social & Economic (ASEC) (revised)
2008 May: Public Participation in the Arts
2008 June: Fertility
2008 September: Volunteer (revised)
2008 October: School Enrollment
2008 November: Voting and Registration
2008 November: Civic Engagement
2008 December: Food Security (revised)
2009 March: Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) (revised)




Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2008 (9)
Product ID: C9-C08-ALLF-06-US1
Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2008. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data were collected from respondents).

2000s Supplements
2006 March/April: Match File: Child Support
2006 May: Tobacco Use
2006 August: Tobacco Use
2007 January: Tobacco Use
2007 March: Annual Social & Economic (ASEC) (revision, however please refer to file below for most up-to-date file)
2007 March: Annual Social and Economic (ASEC)(2nd revision)
2007 August: Veterans
2007 September: Volunteer
2007 October: School Enrollment and Internet Use
2007 December: Food Security
2008 January: Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility
2008 March: Annual Social & Economic (ASEC)




Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2007 (9)
Product ID: C9-C07-ALLF-06-US1
Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2007. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data were collected from respondents).

Product contains the below listed files. Asterisk indicates latest file(s) added to disc.

2000s Supplements
2005: Unemployment Insurance Non-Filers (this file was on disc C1-C07-ALLF-06-US1 and also on the subsequent disc, C2-C07-ALLF-06-US1, but was not not placed on C3-C07-ALLF-06-US1 nor on the subsequent C4-C07-ALLF-06-US1 nor C5-C07-ALLF-06-US1). It was released as a revised file on C6-C07-ALLF-06-US1 and subsequent releases (i.e. C7, C8, and future releases).
2005 September: Volunteer (Source and Accuracy Statement revised)
2005 Annual Social & Economic (ASEC) (revision)
2006 Annual Social & Economic (ASEC) (revision)
2006 September: Volunteer
2003 February: Tobacco Use (revision to Tech Doc)
2003 June: Tobacco Use (revision to Tech Doc)
2003 November: Tobacco Use (revision to Tech Doc)
2006 November: Voting and Registration Supplement
2005 May: Unemployment Insurance (UI) Non-Filers (revision to Tech Doc)
2007 March: Annual Social & Economic (ASEC)
2006 October: School Enrollment
*2006 December: Food Security




Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2006 (13)
Product ID: C13-C06-ALLF-06-US1

Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2006. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data was collected from respondents).

Product contains the below listed files. *Asterisk indicates latest file(s) to be added to disc.

Supplements
2005 September: Volunteer
2001 February Contingent Work (This re-release adds the 2000-based weight variable which allows users to make comparisons between the 1990-based and 2000-based weights. Please replace the previous February 2001 Contingent Work Supplement file you may have.
2004 Cell Phone (technical documentation revised on C3-C06-ALLF-06-US1 and subsequent discs).
1999 Annual Demographic File (technical documentation revised on C4-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2000 Annual Demographic File (technical documentation revised on C4-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2001 Annual Demographic File (technical documentation revised on C4-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2002 Annual Demographic File (technical documentation revised on C4-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2003 February: Tobacco Use (*technical documentation revised on C13-C06-ALLF-06-US1)
2003 June: Tobacco Use (*technical documentation revised on C13-C06-ALLF-06-US1)
2003 November: Tobacco Use (*technical documentation revised on C13-C06-ALLF-06-US1)
2003 March Annual Social and Economic File (technical documentation revised on C5-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2004 March Annual Social and Economic File (technical documentation revised on C5-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2005 March Annual Social and Economic File (technical documentation revised on C5-C06-ALLF-06-US1 and revisions to the overall file were released on C7-C06-ALLF-06-US1).
2005 August: Veterans
2006 Annual Social and Economic File (technical documentation revised on C12-C06-ALLF-06-US1)
2005 October: School Enrollment
2006 January: Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility
2004 March-April Match File: Child Support
*2005 December: Food Security
*2006 June: Fertility Supplement




Product Name: Current Population Survey Releases in 2005 (14)
Product ID: C14-C05-ALLF-06-US1

Description: CD-ROM containing Current Population Survey files released on CD-ROM in 2005. Note that the calendar year refers to the release date of the disc; it differs from the reference date of the data in each file (reference date is the date when the data were collected from respondents).

NOTE: The Cell Phone Supplement 2004 was sent on the C10-C05-ALLF-06-US1 and the C11-C05-ALLF-06-US1 discs. Subsequent to their release, we learned of a possible problem with the Cell Phone Supplement 2004. For those customers who may have the C10 or C11 disc, we recommend that you not use data from the Cell Phone Supplement, and to contact us for information regarding a possible future replacement disc.

Product contains the below listed files. *Asterisk indicates latest file(s) to be added to disc (i.e. not included on C13 disc).

1970s Supplements
1973-1975 March: Annual Demographic File
1976 March: Annual Demographic File (technical documentation only -- data file not available)
1977 March: Annual Demographic File
1978 March: Annual Demographic File
1979 March: Annual Demographic File

1980s Supplements
1980 March: Annual Demographic File
1981 March: Annual Demographic File
1982 March: Annual Demographic File
1983 March: Annual Demographic File (technical documentation only -- data file not available)
1984 March: Annual Demographic File
1984 October: Annual Demographic File
1985 March: Annual Demographic File
1986 March: Annual Demographic File
1987 March: Annual Demographic File
1989 October: Annual Demographic File

1990s Supplements
1992 January: Displaced Workers
1992 July: Telephone Availability
1992 October: School Enrollment

2000s Supplements
2000 March/April: Match File: Child Support
2002 March/April: Match File: Child Support
2004 May: Work Schedules and Work at Home
2004 June: Fertility
2004 October: School Enrollment, Language Proficiency & Disability
2004 November: Voting and Registration
2004 December: Food Security
2005 February: Contingent Work
2005 March: Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) [*Data File replaced, and Technical Documentation updated]




Product Name: Current Population Survey - 2002 through 2004 All Files CD-ROM (6)
Product ID: C6-C04-ALLF-02-US1

Description: This product contains the below CPS files from 2002-2004. Updated January 27, 2005. The September Volunteer supplement is not contained on this disc.

2004 Supplements
January - Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility
March - Annual Social and Economic (ASEC)
June - Fertility

2003 Supplements
March - Annual Social and Economic (ASEC)
August - Veterans
September - Volunteer
October - School Enrollment and Computer Use
December - Food Security

2002 Supplements
January - Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility (re-released October 2004)
February - Tobacco Use
March - Annual Demographic File
June - Fertility (re-released May 2004, and ddf and pdf file added August 2004)
August - Public Participation in the Arts
September - Volunteer
October - School Enrollment and Library Use
November - Voting and Registration (re-released June 2004)
December - Food Security

2001 Supplements
June - Tobacco Use (technical documentation only -- see 2001 disc for data file)
November - Tobacco Use (technical documentation only -- see 2001 disc for data file)




Product Name: Current Population Survey 2001 All Files CD-ROM (4)
Product ID: C4-C01-ALLF-06-US1

Description: This product contains the below listed CPS files for 2001.

2001 Supplements
February - Contingent Work
March - Annual Demographic File
April - Food Security
May - Work Schedules and Work at Home (Updated December 17, 2002)
June - Tobacco Use
August - Veterans (technical documentation and data dictionary revised)
September - Computer and Internet Use
October - School Enrollment
November - Tobacco Use
December - Food Security

2002 Supplements
February 2002 - Tobacco Use (technical documentation only. See 2002 disc for data file.)




Title: Current Population Survey 2000 All Files CD-ROM (4)
Product ID: C4-C00-ALLF-06-US1

Description: This product contains the below CPS files for 2000.

2000 Supplements
January - Tobacco Use
February - Displaced Worker, Employee Tenure, and Occupational Mobility (re-released October 2004)
March - Annual Demographic File
May - Tobacco Use
June - Fertility
August - Internet and Computer Use
September - Food Security
October - School Enrollment
November - Voting and Registration (revised June 2003)




Product Name: Current Population Survey 1994-1999 All Files CD-ROM (5)
Product ID: C5-C99-ALLF-06-US1

Description: This product contains the below CPS files for 1994-1999.

1999 Supplements
January - Tobacco Use
February - Contingent Work
March - Annual Demographic File
April - Food Security
May - Tobacco Use
September - Veterans
October - School Enrollment

1998 Supplements
February - Displaced Worker and Employee Tenure
March - Annual Demographic (includes 1997 Income and Poverty)
March/April - Match File Child Support
June - Fertility and Birth Expectations
August - Food Security
September - Tobacco Use
October - School Enrollment
November - Voting and Registration
December - Computer and Internet Use

1997 Supplements
February - Contingent Work
March - Annual Demographic (includes 1996 Income and Poverty)
April - Food Security
May - Work Schedules
September - Veterans
October - School Enrollment

1996 Supplements
January - Tobacco Use
February - Displaced Workers, Job Tenure, and Occupational Mobility
March - Annual Demographic (includes 1995 Income and Poverty)
March/April - Match File Child Support (re-released November 2004)
May - Tobacco Use
September - Food Security
October - School Enrollment
November - Voting and Registration

1995 Supplements
February - Contingent Work
March - Annual Demographic File
April - Food Security
June - Fertility and Marital History
August - Veterans
September - Tobacco Use
October - School Enrollment

1994 Supplements
March/April - Match File Child Support (re-released November 2004)




March Annual Demographic Files

CD-ROMS providing supplemental data on work experience, income, noncash benefits, migration, employment status, occupation, and industry of persons 15 years old and older in addition to monthly labor force data,. Also weeks worked and hours per week worked, reason not working full time, total income and income components, and residence on March 1 of year of survey. Data on employment and income refer to the preceding year, although demographic data refer to the time of the survey.

Also contains data covering nine noncash income sources: food stamps, school lunch program, employer-provided group health insurance plan, employer-provided pension plan, personal health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, CHAMPUS or military health care, and energy assistance.

Characteristics such as age, sex, race, household relationship, and Hispanic origin are shown for each person in the household enumerated.

1991-1993 C1-C93-MARF-02-US1 Released April 28, 1994
1990-1992 C1-C92-MARF-02-US1
1989-1991 C1-C91-MARF-02-US1
1988-1990 C1-C90-MARF-02-US1

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Customer Liaison & Marketing Services | Customer Services Center | Last Revised: May 31, 2013