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GOTWIC indicates whether, during the previous calendar year, the respondent received benefits from WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. (The question wording simply referred to "WIC, the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program"). WIC provides nutritious foods (or vouchers to purchase specific foods), nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social service programs at no charge to participants; it serves low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breast-feeding women, and infants and children up to 5 who are at nutrition risk.

Eligible applicants must have family income below a specified level (or must participate in certain other benefit programs, such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), must satisfy state residency requirements, and must be individually determined to be at "nutrition risk" by a health professional. Two major types of nutrition risk are recognized for WIC eligibility: 1) medically-based risks such as anemia, being underweight or overweight, or a history of pregnancy complications or poor pregnancy outcomes; 2) dietary risks, such as failure to meet the dietary guidelines or inappropriate nutrition practices.

The WIC program, which was established on a pilot basis in 1972 and made permanent in 1974, is administered at the federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. WIC is not an income or entitlement program; rather, it is a grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount each year for program operations (less than the amount that would be required to allow every eligible individual to participate in the program).

The documentation for the ASEC CPS public use files does not specify the universe for this variable. The IPUMS-CPS staff would appreciate clarification of the variable universe from informed users.


GOTWIC does not adhere to the universe stated in the original CPS documentation for the 2019 ASEC. The true universe of this variable could not be determined empirically. This variable should be used with caution.


  • All females.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2001 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables