Question

Status:Closed    Asked:Oct 09, 2017 - 11:42 AM

can't replicate median household income in ACS

Hi,

I was wondering if I should NOT expect to exactly match the median household income figures published by the Census Bureau in FactFinder when I run my own analysis of the ACS PUMS data in Stata. I calculated the median household income in California from 2007 to 2015 and I get figures that are close to what’s published in FactFinder, but they don’t exact match, and in some years, the difference between my values and those in FactFinder is off by close to or more than 2%. Is this to be expected or could I be doing something wrong? If this is to be expected, is there any way I can confirm that my analysis is correct? The PUMS estimates for user verification on the ACS website do not include the median household income or any other income values. (Also, I should note that my figures are based on the same number of households as published in FactFinder so that’s not the problem.)

Here are my values vs FactFinder’s:

Median Household Income, CA, 2016 Dollars

Stata

FactFinder

% diff

2007

68,297

69,395

1.6%

2008

66,907

68,046

1.7%

2009

66,672

65,923

-1.1%

2010

62,949

63,508

0.9%

2011

59,763

61,136

2.3%

2012

60,631

60,974

0.6%

2013

61,823

62,019

0.3%

2014

61,842

62,788

1.5%

2015

65,416

65,315

-0.2%

Thanks in advance for any help!

-Alissa

 
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Staff Answer

Estimates derived from the ACS public use microdata are expected to differ slightly from the summary tables available through American FactFinder. This is because the summary tables use the full (and restricted access) ACS samples while the public use microdata files include only a subset of the sample. The microdata sample is then re-weighted to match total population figures. Therefore, while we do expect estimates to differ slightly, we do expect them to fall within the published margins of error.

 

Oct 09, 2017 - 04:03 PM

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