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Rectype is a 1-character alphabetic variable.

H Household
P Person


RECTYPE assigns all household records the alphabetic string "H" and all person records a "P". This allows researchers using the hierarchical data format to discriminate between household and person records. Each household record is followed by one or more person records, and all data pertaining to any household record usually pertain to all of the persons within it.

The original CPS data did not have household records until 1976. Because the IPUMS system is designed to handle hierarchical records consisting of a household record followed by person records, IPUMS-CPS created a new household record by copying the person record of the household head for earlier years.


This variable is fully comparable across years.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

This variable is the same in IPUMS-CPS and the IPUMS census and ACS samples.


  • All households.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 2023 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2024 X X - X X - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

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