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Changes to 2023 CPS Public Use Microdata Files

(REVISED December 15, 2022)

This is an update to the U.S. Census Bureau’s plans for releasing the 2023 Current Population Survey Public Use File (CPS PUF), last posted by the Census Bureau in July 2022.  The Census Bureau plans to move ahead with the following changes on the January 2023 Data release. 

The following are key features of the final plan:

  • The need to strengthen protections on the CPS PUF resulted from a 2020 reidentification study that found significant vulnerabilities in select geographies. Rather than increase the population count threshold for publication of the data from 100,000 to 250,000 as initially proposed, the 2023 CPS PUF will retain the 100,000 population count threshold and partially synthesize data for riskier geographies. The new synthetic values allow preservation of the level of detail and many of the underlying relationships while providing the level of protection required.
  • The Census Bureau will be rounding and dynamically topcoding hourly and weekly wages.  Since July, the Census Bureau modified its initial proposal for rounding wages to minimize impacts expressed by data users conducting wage analyses. Specifically, the upper boundary of our minimum rounding was raised to $29.99 for hourly wages. We also have updated our weekly rounding to better align with the hourly wage rounding rules, assuming a traditional 40-hour work week.   The introduction of a new "dynamic" top-coding approach for wage and earnings data that will be applied to a weighted average of the top 3% of values on a monthly basis will be implemented as presented in July.
  • Changes will be phased in over 16 months until fully integrated. This is the same as presented in July.

The full paper and details are outlined in the working paper on our data page.   

Media, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-763-3030 or PIO@CENSUS.GOV.  For other data users, contact the CPS team at the US Census at 301-763-3806 or DSD.CPS@CENSUS.GOV

Page Last Revised - December 15, 2022
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