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Survey of Income & Program Participation

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a monthly survey collecting information on the source and amount of income, labor force activity, program participation and eligibility data, as well as general demographic characteristics.

The survey consists of a continuous series of national panels, with sample size ranging from about 14,000 to 36,700 interviewed households. Panels typically include nine interviews (or "waves") and last from 2 1/2 years to 4 years. The SIPP sample is of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population age 15 and over.

SIPP collects two types of data:

Core data based on questions asked in each interview or "wave" of the survey on labor force activity, amounts and types of income, and participation in cash and noncash benefit programs (e.g., food stamps and subsidized housing). Topical module data based on questions asked on less frequent basis on special topics (e.g., wealth, child care, and disability).

SIPP data are available in four forms:

  • Microdata files available free online through DataFerret.
  • Microdata files available for purchase on CD-ROM (see below) from the Customer Services Center.
  • Statistical reports available online in PDF as the P70 Current Population Report Series.
  • Statistical reports available free in print (single copies) from the Customer Services Center while supply lasts. Call (1-800-923-8282) for details.

Microdata consists of household and person records reflecting actual responses to survey questions; identifying information has been removed to preserve confidentiality.

In addition, please see the SIPP Technical Documentation website. More.


Availability: CD-ROMs containing detailed microdata from the Survey of Income and Participation (SIPP). Microdata files include information at the person, family, or household level. For SIPP they include the core wave files, the topical modules, and the full panel files. Technical documentation on the Internet in PDF format and on the CD-ROMs. Also see SIPP Users Guide [pdf].

Subject content: SIPP is a multi-panel longitudinal survey of adults (population age 15 and over), measuring their economic and demographic characteristics over a period of 2 1/2 years. The adults followed in each panel of the survey are determined by a nationally representative survey of households in the civilian noninstitutionalized population. The first panel began in October 1983 with the adults in 19,987 interviewed households. Households typically undergo nine interviews (called "waves").

Information collected in SIPP falls into two categories: Core data includes questions asked at every interview. Topical modules include in-depth information on specific subjects and are asked less frequently.

Unless otherwise noted, each CD-ROM contains all available core data files, topical modules, and longitudinal files for the survey year. For more information on the SIPP Survey.

File format: Compressed ASCII with no retrieval software. Note: Files can be unzipped using standard unzipping software.

Census contact: Customer Services (orders) 301-763-INFO (4636); Demographic Surveys Division, Survey of Income and Program Participation Branch (content) 301-763-5263.

Product ID

2004 Preliminary Core File (Wave 1) | C1-S04-CO01-06-US1 | Issued March 8, 2006

2001 Core Data Files (Waves 1-9) | C1-S01-C019-06-US1 | Issued August 5, 2005

2001 Core & Topical Module Files (Waves 1-9) | C6-S01-CM19-06-US1 | Contains 2001 Panel Core Data and Topical Modules for Waves 1-9 | Issued September 19, 2005

1996 Panel | C6-S96-PANF-06-US1 (2 discs)

1993 Panel | C1-S93-PANF-06-US1

1992 Panel | C1-S92-PANF-06-US1

1991 Panel | C1-S91-PANF-06-US1

1990 Panel | C1-S90-PANF-06-US1

1989 Panel | C1-S89-PANF-06-US1

1988 Panel | C2-S88-PANF-06-US1

1987 Panel | C2-S87-PANF-06-US1

1986 Panel | C1-S86-PANF-06-US1

1985 Panel | C2-S85-PANF-06-US1 | Revised October 23, 2003

1984 Panel | C2-S84-PANF-06-US1 | Revised September 30, 2003

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Customer Liaison & Marketing Services | Customer Services Center | Last Revised: October 01, 2012