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Non-farm business income


99999999 = N.I.U. (Not in Universe).
99999998 = Missing. (1962-1964 only)
Values can be negative.

The Census Bureau applies different disclosure avoidance measures across time for individuals with high income in this variable. Detailed explanations of these methods, topcodes, and replacement value and swap value thresholds are available here.


INCBUS indicates each respondent's net pre-income-tax non-farm business and/or professional practice income for the previous calendar year. INCBUS is reported for self-employed persons; employees' earnings are given in INCWAGE.

Amounts are expressed as they were reported to the interviewer; users must adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.

For ASEC samples 1988-onward, INCBUS is derived from a Census recode variable. The topcoded components of INCBUS are OINCBUS and INCLONGJ. OINCBUS is always a component of INCBUS. When SRCEARN indicates that INCLONGJ is earned from self-employment, INCLONGJ is an additional component of INCBUS.


Along with the effects of inflation and shifts in the variable universe, values for INCBUS may be affected by changes in question wording over time.

Conceptually, the INCBUS figure should be the amount earned after subtracting business expenses from gross receipts. In 1962, the survey questionnaire asked how much the respondent earned "by working in his own business or professional practice or partnership." For 1963-1974, interviewers asked about "net income" from these sources. For 1975-1979, the survey questionnaire asked whether an individual received income "from his own non-farm business, partnership, or professional practice" and then asked how much the person received "after expenses." Later years asked about "earnings" or "net earnings" in the person's "own business" "after expenses."

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

INCBUS is basically comparable in IPUMS-USA and IPUMS-CPS. Income data were collected from persons age 14+ in the 1970 census and from persons age 14+ in the CPS from 1962-1979. The 1980 and 1990 censuses had a lower age limit of 16 for INCBUS, versus age 15 in the CPS beginning in 1980. Income from incorporated enterprises was specifically excluded from INCBUS in the census, with all persons working for corporations considered "employees." This distinction was not made in the CPS. The 1960 census and the 2000 census combined self-employment income from businesses and farms in the INCBUSFM variable and INCBUS00 variables, respectively. For comparability between IPUMS-USA for the 1960 and 2000 censuses and IPUMS-CPS, researchers should sum the value of the IPUMS-CPS variables INCBUS and INCFARM.


  • 1962-1963: Persons age 14+ who were not in rotation groups 4 or 8.
  • 1964-1979: Persons age 14+.
  • 1980-2018: Persons age 15+.
  • 2019-2023 ASEC: Persons age 15+ who worked and had earnings in the last year.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.