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Number of families in household


NFAMS is a 2-digit numeric code.


NFAMS is a constructed variable that counts the number of families within each unit. A "family" is any group of persons related by blood, adoption, or marriage. An unrelated individual is considered a separate family. Thus, a household consisting of a widow and her boarder contains two families; a household consisting of a large, multiple-generation extended family with no boarders, employees, or other non-relatives counts as a single family.

Note that NFAMS is an IPUMS-derived variable using IPUMS-derived family interrelationships. Thus NFAMS may differ from the number of families according to the Census definitions. See for example FTYPE, FAMKIND, and FAMREL for more on Census family units.


NFAMS is largely comparable over time, subject to differences in the available relationship information used in the creation of parent-child and spouse-spouse links; see SPRULE, MOMRULE, and POPRULE.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The comparability of this variable between IPUMS-CPS and IPUMS-USA is affected by the more limited information available on relationship to household head in IPUMS-CPS. Conceptually, the variable is same in the two databases.


  • All households and group quarters.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1968 – 1993 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1994 – 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.

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