CPS 1962 and Later


The Current Population Surveys (CPS) are random samples of the entire U.S. population conducted monthly every year, beginning in 1962. The IPUMS SDA dataset combines all of the March CPS datasets into a single cumulative dataset.

The CPS is a monthly U.S. household survey conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Initiated in the 1940s in the wake of the Great Depression, the survey was designed to measure unemployment. A battery of labor force and demographic questions, known as the "basic monthly survey," is asked every month. Over time, supplemental inquiries on special topics have been added for particular months. Among these supplemental surveys, the March Annual Demographic File and Income Supplement (commonly referred to as the March CPS) is the most widely used by social scientists and policymakers, and it provides the data for IPUMS-CPS.

Each CPS has the following characteristics:

  1. It is a national random sample of the population.
  2. It is not a self-weighting sample. Weights must be used to produce accurate statistics.

This CPS dataset is hosted on the SDA server for the IPUMS Project at the University of Minnesota. See: http://usa.ipums.org/usa/