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Household serial number


SERIAL is a 5-digit numeric variable.


SERIAL is an identifying number unique to each household in a given survey month and year. All person records are assigned the same serial number as the household record they follow. A combination of YEAR, MONTH, and SERIAL provides a within-sample unique identifier for every household in IPUMS-CPS; YEAR, SERIAL, and PERNUM uniquely identify every person in the database within sample.

SERIAL is a new value generated for IPUMS-CPS and should not be confused with the household serial number created by the Census Bureau and included in the original CPS data.


This variable is fully comparable for all years.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The SERIAL variable generated for IPUMS-CPS is conceptually identical to the SERIAL value included in IPUMS-USA.


  • All households.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 1975 - - X - - - - - - - - - -
1976 – 2017 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2018 X - - - - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.