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Cohabiting partner line number (self-reported)


0 = No cohabiting partner of this person present in household.


PECOHAB is a variable that indicates whether the person's cohabiting partner lived in the same household and, if so, gives the line number (LINENO) of the partner. PECOHAB makes it easy for researchers to link the characteristics of cohabiting partners.

Since 2007, unmarried respondents in households with unrelated adults have been asked: "Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner in this household?" If they responded yes, the respondent was then asked to identify the cohabiting partner and the interviewer recorded the partner's line number. The same question was posed about all other unmarried adults in the household except persons identified as the unmarried partner of the household head. PECOHAB provides the line number of cohabitors identified through this direct question on cohabitation and of persons identified as the unmarried partner of the household head. PECOHAB is reported as is and may require additional cleaning by researchers.

In the years 1995-2006, researchers can identify most cohabitors using the unmarried partner category in the relationship to household head variable (RELATE). About 80 percent of cohabiting couples can be identified through this method.

In addition to cohabiting partners, respondents also identified spouses, (ASPOUSE), mothers (PELNMOM), and fathers (PELNDAD).

An Introduction to the Family Interrelationship Variables can be found on IPUMS-USA. On this page you'll find specific examples of how pointer variables, like PECOHAB, can be used efficiently. The Census Bureau working paper "Improvements to Demographic Household Data in the Current Population Survey: 2007" may also be useful.


PECOHAB is consistent in all years for which it is available.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

No self-reported family relationship variables are available in IPUMS-USA.


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X X X - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables