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Line number of household respondent


HHRESPLN is a 2-digit numeric value.


HHRESPLN indicates the line number (LINENO) of the household respondent. The household respondent is the person who responds to the CPS survey for the household. The household respondent and the reference person are not necessarily the same. One person may provide all of the CPS data for the entire sample unit, provided that the person is a household member 15 years of age or older who is knowledgeable about the household. Information collected from the household respondent for other members of the household is referred to as proxy response (CPS TP66 5-1).

The reference person is identified by RELATE and is referred to as the head of the household or, more recently, as the householder. The householder is identified when first creating the household roster. To create the household roster, the interviewer asks the household respondent to give "the names of all persons living or staying" in the housing unit, and to "start with the name of the person or one of the persons who owns or rents" the unit. The person whose name the interviewer enters on line 1 (presumably one of the individuals who owns or rents the unit) becomes the reference person (CPS TP66 5-1).

Normally the head of the household is listed on the first line, followed by the spouse, their children, members of subfamilies (in the same order), and unrelated persons. In certain extraordinary circumstances, household information may be collected from a non-household individuals. These cases are subject to direct supervisory review before they are processed by CPS. (CPS TP66 7-3)

The survey instrument is structured so that every effort is made to interview the same respondent every month. (CPS TP66 15-7)

To the extent possible, the interviewer attempts to collect labor force information from each eligible individual him/herself. In the interest of timeliness and efficiency, however, a household respondent often provides the data. Just over one-half of the CPS labor force data are collected by self-response. Labor force proxy responses are identified by LFPROXY. (CPS TP66 7-3)


From 1989 to 1993, non-household respondents are given a value of 98, rather than a line number. This is not the case in samples after 1993, and if households responded for by non-household respondents are included in the data in these years, it is not possible to distinguish them from households whose respondent was a member of the household.


  • All households and group quarters.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1976 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X X X - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.