Status:Closed    Asked:Jan 15, 2016 - 06:34 PM

CPS Geographic Identification


I am using the CPS monthly files and noticed that the msa identification isn't available before 1989. Is there any geographic identifier (besides state) for the earlier years? I just wanted to make sure that I'm not overlooking something simple.

Thank you!

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

Staff Answer




While some of the source data files prior to 1989 do have CMSA/MSA Rank codes, ranked by population (i.e. 1 = New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ CMSA, 2 = Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, CA CMSA, 3 = Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN-Wl), IPUMS-CPS does not currently offer this variable. However, it is possible to download the source data files from NBER and merge this information onto your IPUMS-CPS extract. Because the NBER and IPUMS-CPS files share a common sort order, you can sequentially merge the data files (i.e. first NBER observation to first CPS observation, second to second, etc). I recommend checking values of sex, age, and race before and after merging the data. If your analysis is spanning many years you will also want to consult the Docs corresponding to your samples to make sure the MSA Rank codes correspond to your MSAs of interest (as rankings likely changed over time).

Also note the warning in the METFIPS variable description. As the CPS samples were not intended to be representative at the MSA level, only large MSAs will produce reliable estimates.

I hope this helps


Jan 19, 2016 - 02:46 PM

Report it


I am looking for the Kessler 6 variable in IPUMS-MEPS
Reason for missing MIGSTA1 values in ASEC files for 1985 (and 1995)
India Area-level data (geo2) inconsistent for total population, urban share, ...
Does anyone have a method for handling missing data in CPS "EDUC" variable? 2...
How do I find the data file:Ipumsi_00001.dat for the 1974
Variables from Full Year Consolidated Files currently not included in IPUMS-M...
Login   |   Register

Recently Active Members

View More »

Share |