- Questionnaire Text
- UnHarmonized Variables
COUNTY is a five-digit numeric variable. The first two digits give the FIPS state code; the last three digits give the FIPS county code. For a list of counties identified in each state, follow the following links for the appropriate years:
00000 = Not identified
COUNTY gives the FIPS state and county codes for the respondent's county of residence. To preserve respondent confidentiality, not all counties are identified; however, about 45 percent of households in recent years are located in a county that is identified.
This variable is completely comparable across all years.
Note, though, that a few counties have undergone changes over time. Prince George's county, MD lost a city July 1, 1997. Boulder, Jefferson and Weld counties, CO lost area and population to form Broomfield County on November 15, 2001. Newport News city, VA added population from York County, VA on July 1, 2007. For more information from the Census Bureau, see here. Any analysis of these counties across time may have to take these changes into account.
In January 2023, the Census Bureau made a significant change to the way confidentiality is protected for individuals in small geographic areas. Geography is now partially synthesized for areas with a population below the threshold of 100,000. This change will be phased in as new respondents enter the CPS, beginning with month-in-sample 1 in January 2023. These changes affect the following geographic variables: METFIPS, COUNTY, METRO, INDIVIDCC, and CBSASZ. For more information, see the Census Bureau’s 2023 Current Population Survey User Note.
Comparability with IPUMS-USA
This variable is comparable with the IPUMS-USA COUNTY variable, but only with some modification. The IPUMS-USA COUNTY variable uses the four-digit ICPSR county codes, the first three digits of which are almost identical to the FIPS county codes. When the first three digits of the IPUMS-USA COUNTY variable are combined with the IPUMS-USA STATEFIP variable, the result is comparable to the IPUMS-CPS COUNTY variable.
- All households.
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