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Father's line number (self-reported)


0 = No father of this person present in household.


PELNDAD is a variable that indicates whether the person's father lived in the same household and, if so, gives the line number (LINENO) of the father. PELNDAD makes it easy for researchers to link the characteristics of fathers and children and is particularly useful for studying cohabiting families.

Since 2007, respondents have been asked whether each household member resides with his or her father. If they responded yes, the interviewer recorded the father's line number. In addition, respondents reported whether the father is a biological, step, or adoptive parent (PEDADTYP). Respondents also identified mothers (PELNMOM), spouses (ASPOUSE), and cohabiting partners (PECOHAB).

These variables are reported as is and may need additional cleaning by researchers. IPUMS-CPS plans to test these variables in the future and will revise them if necessary. In particular, when a child resides with one biological parent and that parent's cohabiting partner, the child is usually reported to live with only one parent. Researchers can use information on the mother's cohabiting partner (PECOHAB) to identify those cohabiting stepfathers who are not included in PELNDAD. Married stepfathers are always identified by PELNDAD.

PELNDAD is similar to the IPUMS-CPS constructed variable POPLOC which identifies probable fathers on the basis of relationship to household head, age, marital status, and additional demographic characteristics and is available since 1968. In most instances, POPLOC and PELNDAD will identify the same father. The IPUMS constructed variables, however, link children in cohabiting families to only one parent. Disagreements can also occur in ambiguous situations or as a result of reporting errors. Note that POPLOC references the father's person number (PERNUM), while PELNDAD provides the line number (LINENO).

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 PELNDAD, can be used efficiently. The Census Bureau working paper "Improvements to Demographic Household Data in the Current Population Survey: 2007" may also be useful.


PELNDAD 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 – 2018 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2019 X X - X X X X X X X X X X



Unharmonized Variables