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WTFINL is a 14-digit numeric variable with four implied decimals. That is, 12345678901234 should be interpreted as 1234567890.1234. The IPUMS command files automatically make the necessary adjustment, so no further adjustment is needed.


WTFINL is the final person-level weight that should be used in analyses of basic monthly data.

When analyzing ASEC data, researchers should use the person weight ASECWT. For analyses including the variables EARNWEEK, HOURWAGE, PAIDHOUR, and UNION, researchers should use the EARNWT variable.

WTFINL is the second stage weight in CPS (see technical documentation). It is based on the inverse probability of selection into the sample and adjustments for the following factors: failure to obtain an interview; sampling within large sample units; adjustments to the known distribution of the entire population according to stage, age, sex, race, and Hispanic ethnicity; and allotting a weight of zero to populations not sampled in other monthly surveys (i.e., persons in the Hispanic oversample and members of the armed forces in ASEC samples).


WTFINL is comparable over time.

For many non-ASEC samples in 1976-1981, WTFINL undercounts the total population by about one third due to the fact that children under 14 are not included in these samples. The degree of the undercount is less in samples from the month of October in 1976 and 1977 as these samples include children ages 3-13, but no children under three. Beginning in September 1978, children under 14 are included in months with supplements. WTFINL correctly counts the total population in these months. These months are September, October, and November 1978, May, June, September, October, November, and December 1979, May, June, September, October, and November 1980, and May, June, September, October, and December 1981.

WTFINL also undercounts the total population in the January and February Basic Monthly samples from 1985. For unknown reasons, children (under 14) in both of these samples weighted as 0.

After the original release of the 2000-2002 CPS public use files, the Census Bureau released a set of updated weights for these samples that incorporate updated population counts from the 2000 Census. These revised weights are made available as part of WTFINL for these years except for the April and June files from 2001. Due to the inclusion of an oversample in these months, the revised weights yield improbable totals. If users wish to apply the revised weights to these months, they are available in UH_WGT_B2.


  • 1976-1988: All persons.
  • 1989+: Civilians.


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


This variable has no flags.

Unharmonized Variables