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Codes and Frequencies

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MBPL indicates whether the person's mother was born in the United States and, if not, her foreign country of birth.

There are occasionally inconsistencies in the original CPS data between a person's MBPL value and the BPL value of the person designated as that person's mother in the household.


The 1994 data for MBPL include only about 40 categories, with all other answers coded into a residual "Other/Unknown" category. For 1995 forward, over one hundred categories are recognized, including responses for countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Oceania that were not part of the 1994 data. To achieve comparability from 1994 to the present, the data must be recoded into the smaller number of categories available in 1994.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

IPUMS-CPS data on mother's birthplace are recoded using the same BPL codes available in IPUMS-USA, but fewer categories are included in the CPS than in the census. State of birth is supplied by the census samples, but only a general "United States" code is given in the CPS. Because fewer codes are included in IPUMS-CPS than in IPUMS-USA, residual categories like "Other Africa" and "Other" are more inclusive in the CPS than in the census. Some specific countries of origin, particularly in Asia and Africa, that were not reported in the census samples for MBPL, did appear in the CPS data; these were given the corresponding codes from the BPL variable for IPUMS-CPS. In the CPS, "Unknown" and "Other" cases were combined into a single category and were given a new code of 96000; in IPUMS-USA, "Unknown" cases are distinguished from the residual category of "Abroad, not specified."


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1994 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X X - - - - - - -