Status:Closed    Asked:Feb 13, 2014 - 08:38 AM

What is the difference between metaread(1120) and metarea(112)? Geographically, which code covers which area?

I'm pulling high school graduates for Boston City and Boston MSA, and was wondering why the pulls would be different for detailed metro areas vs. non-detailed metro areas.


Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

Staff Answer




Metarea(112) represents the fully harmonized Boston MSA going back to 1850 and metaread(1120) represents the contemporary geographical boundary for Boston. Since IPUMS-USA aims to harmonize variables across time, and often historical data has much less detail then more contemporary data, nesting less detailed variables within detailed variables allows us to offer users as much information as possible (this FAQ response explains things a little better).

Looking specifically at Boston again, if you look at the Codes Section for METAREA and click the "Detailed Codes" radio button near the top, scrolling down to 1120 (Boston, MA), you will see the codes right below it also start with 112 (1121 = Lawrence-Haverhill, MA/NH, 1122 = Lowell, MA/NH, and 1123 = Salem-Gloucester, MA). This means that if you are using the 1990 5% sample and you use metarea(112) you will be including respondents from 1120, 1121, 1122, and 1123. If you would prefer to just select persons from the contemporary Boston geography, use metaread(1120). However, if you are using a pre-1980 sample metarea(112) and metaread(1120) are exactly the same.

I hope this helps.


Feb 13, 2014 - 12:55 PM

Report it


when trying to declare the IPUMS data as panel on stata there are repeated ti...
2010 5-year PUMA definition
Where can I find city populations, by age, San Diego, New Orleans, Atlanta, C...
Hi, it has been over 4 hours for my data extract and I was wondering if there...
When I take several Nov Supplements, the weighted number of voters equals pub...
Are there aggregate categories for OCC/OCCLY in CPS?
Login   |   Register

Recently Active Members

View More »

Share |