At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Provides data on mediating variables (e.g., employment status) that may be useful in studying childhood obesity.
  • From time to time, the CPS has included additional questions on health, education, income, and other issues. The Tobacco Use Supplement, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is an example of these additional questions.
  • Sample is large enough to provide national, state and some substate-specific estimates
  • Collects information on the occupations, employment activities, and economic status of household members.

Website

http://www.census.gov/cps/

Purpose

To provide data on the labor force characteristics of the United States (US) population.

Target Population

Civilian noninstitutionalized population in the US, ages 16 years and older.

Conducted

Began in 1940. Conducted monthly.

Sponsor

Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor), in cooperation with the Census Bureau (US Department of Commerce)

Special Note(s)

The Annual Social Economic Supplement (ASEC; formerly known as the Annual Demographic Survey) is an annual supplement to the CPS containing data on basic demographic and labor force data, in addition to data on work experience, income, noncash benefits (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) benefits. Learn more.

Sampling

Sample Design

Cross-sectional survey.

Households are drawn into the sample using a multistage stratified sampling scheme. Each household is interviewed once a month on 4 consecutive months, and again a year later on 4 consecutive months.

Sample Size

Approximately 50,000 households per month

Special Note(s)

Learn more about the design and methodology of the Current Population Survey.

Key Variables

Demographic

NameMethods of Assessment
AgeInterview/questionnaire
Disability (ADL/IADL*; cognitive; hearing; movement/physical; vision; work-related)Interview/questionnaire
EarningsInterview/questionnaire
Educational attainmentInterview/questionnaire
EmploymentInterview/questionnaire
Hispanic originInterview/questionnaire
Hours of workInterview/questionnaire
Marital statusInterview/questionnaire
Occupation, industry, class of workerInterview/questionnaire
RaceInterview/questionnaire
SexInterview/questionnaire
UnemploymentInterview/questionnaire

Special Note(s)

The Annual Social Economic Supplement (ASEC; formerly known as the Annual Demographic Survey) is an annual supplement to the CPS containing data on basic demographic and labor force data, in addition to data on work experience, income, noncash benefits (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) benefits. Learn more.

*ADL: Activities of Daily Living / IADL: Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Download data.

Cost

Data are available free of charge.

Special Note(s)

The Annual Social Economic Supplement (ASEC; formerly known as the Annual Demographic Survey) is an annual supplement to the CPS containing data on basic demographic and labor force data, in addition to data on work experience, income, noncash benefits (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) benefits. Data are available

Geocode/Linkage

Geocode Variable(s)

Allowing for confidentiality restrictions, indicators are provided for 278 selected metropolitan areas, 281 counties and 76 central cities.

Existing Linkages

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and Annual Social Economic Survey (ASEC)

Selected Publications

General

Denavas-Walt C., Proctor B., Smith J. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States: 2010. Washington (DC): US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau, 2011.

Mellor JM, J Milyo. Income inequality and health status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey. The Journal of Human Resources 2002;37(3):510-539.

Singh GK, Siahpush M, Kogan MD. Disparities in children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the United States, 2007. Pediatrics 2010;126(1):4-13.

Resources

Data Query System

DataFerrett.

Documentation/Codebook(s)

Obtain technical documentation for the Current Population Surveyhis site, including technical papers on the design and methodology, the interviewing manual, and details about various supplements.