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Codes and Frequencies

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UNITSSTR reports the number of housing units (both occupied and vacant) in the structure that contained the household. The survey form included five possible responses: 1, 2, 3-4, 5-9, and 10+. To increase consistency with the IPUMS-USA variable UNITSSTR, IPUMS-CPS also integrates other information into the UNITSSTR variable. Housing units described as "mobile home or trailer with no permanent room added" and "tent/trailer site" elsewhere in the original data were coded as "mobile home or trailer" (code 01) and "boat, tent, van, other" (code 02) in the UNITSSTR variable. These are one-unit structures. All other one-unit structures are in code 11, "One unit, unspecified type (CPS)."


This variable is largely comparable across years. For 1979-1987, the data on mobile home status does not indicate whether or not a permanent room was added, so all households identified as mobile homes in the "type of living quarters" variable in the original CPS data are coded as "mobile home or trailer" in UNITSSTR. To increase consistency with how such units are dealt with in several censuses, IPUMS-CPS did not recode "mobile homes with permanent rooms added" as mobile homes in UNITSSTR in 1989-2004. Consistency within IPUMS-CPS in the treatment of mobile homes can be achieved by recoding all mobile homes as one-unit structures."

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The UNITSSTR variable provides less detail in IPUMS-CPS than in IPUMS-USA. The census and ACS distinguished between attached and unattached single-family houses; these must be combined to match a new code for "one unit, unspecified type" created for IPUMS-CPS. The highest number of units recognized in the Current Population Survey was "10+"; IPUMS-USA users can match this cut-off by combining the categories "10-19 family building," "20-49 family building," and "50+ family building."


  • All households and group quarters.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1979 – 1987 - - X - - - - - - - - -
1989 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables