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Description

AGE reports the person's age in years as of the last birthday.

Codes and Frequencies



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Comparability

Apart from differences in topcodes, this variable is generally fully comparable across years.

Users should note that Census Bureau disclosure avoidance techniques resulted in implausible sex ratios for individuals aged 65 and up in the 2000 census, the 2003-2005 ACS/PRCS, and 2005 and 2006 cases in the 2005-2007 multi-year ACS/PRCS. As a result, PUMS files for these years may not have been representative of the 65+ population at individual ages, and analyses of variables that are expected to change by age stand to be particularly affected. For a full discussion of the problem and its implications for researchers, see NBER Working Paper No. 15703.

The Census Bureau released revised data for the 2006 ACS/PRCS in December 2009. In November 2010, the Census Bureau released revised data for the other affected samples. AGE reports these revised values. We provide AGEORIG so that users can analyze the differences in the revisions or replicate previous analyses. However, we recommend that users analyze the revised variable AGE in their research.

Examination shows that nearly all age values for the 65+ population have changed in the new version of the 2006 ACS. The new values produce more accurate estimates than did the old values (contained in AGEORIG), but the extraordinary number of changes suggests that the new version of the data was created via imputation or synthetic processes. Therefore, IPUMS assigns a QAGE value of 4 to all age values for the 65+ population in each of the revised samples.

Data on year of birth (BIRTHYR) and month of birth (BIRTHMO) is also available in some samples.

Universe

  • All persons.

Availability

United States
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: All samples
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1960: All samples
  • 1950: All samples
  • 1940: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples
  • 1900: All samples
  • 1880: All samples
  • 1870: All samples
  • 1860: All samples
  • 1850: All samples
Puerto Rico
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: All samples
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples

Flags

QAGE  QAGE2 

Editing Procedure


AGE (Age)

ACS Years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

ACS editing procedure:

Note: The ACS asks the month, day, and year that person was born and then asks their age. The public data provides only the reported age, it does not provide the month, day, or year a person was born. IPUMS creates BIRTHYR based on the reported age and the survey year, but this is not the same as the self-reported year of birth referred to in the editing documentation.

Because the process for editing AGE involves information about the day, month, and year of birth that is not available in IPUMS, we present a summary of the ACS editing procedures for AGE.

Incompatible responses

The flag variable (QAGE) will indicate when AGE was allocated.

The ACS checks to see if the reported age and birthday are valid responses. If AGE is missing, but they do report a birthdate, the birthdate will be used to compute age.

If the reported age and reported birthdate are incompatible, EDUC, MARST, RELATE, and number of people in the household will be used to select either the reported age or the age based on the reported birthdate.

If the reported age and reported birthdate remain incompatible, the ages of other household members will be used to select between the ages. The follow set of pairings shows the relationships used to select between two incompatible ages:

  • Reference person: Spouse, child, parent, or unmarried partner
  • Spouse of the reference person: Reference person or child (beginning in 2008, the parent-in-law)
  • Child of the reference person: Reference person, spouse of reference person, or other child of reference person
  • Brother/sister of reference person: Reference person, brother/sister of reference person, parent
  • Parent: Parent, reference person
  • Grandchild: Grandchild, reference person
  • Housemate/roommate: Reference person, housemate/roommate
  • Unmarried partner: Reference person
  • Beginning in 2008, Parent-in-law: Parent-in-law, spouse
  • Beginning in 2008, Child-in-law: Reference person
Generation inversion, married couple consistency

If the reference person is 18 or younger and is never married (MARST), there is a parent (RELATE) who is 15 to 59 years older than the reference person or has a missing value for age, the first parent will be made the reference person and all other RELATE values will be changed accordingly.

If the reference person is under 15, age will be replaced with a missing value. If the spouse of the reference person is married (MARST) and under 15, age will be replaced with a missing value. If the spouse of the reference person is not married and under 15, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value.

If the reference person has a missing age, but their spouse has an age (or vice versa), the age of the spouse, number of children, and sex will be used to allocate the missing AGE.

If the child of the reference person is 75 or older, is not 15 or more years younger than the reference person, and is never married, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If they are ever married, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value.

If a child of the reference person is not four or more years younger than the reference person or their spouse and is never married, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If they are ever married, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value.

If the parent of the reference person is 15 or more years younger than the reference person and spouse and is never married, RELATE will be replaced with "Child." If the parent of the reference person is not at least 15 years older than the reference person or spouse, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value.

If a grandchild is 60 or older, is not at least 35 years younger than the reference person, and is never married, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If they are ever married, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value. If a grandchild is not at least 20 years younger than the reference person or spouse, and is never married, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If they are ever married, RELATE will be replaced with a missing value.

If a housemate/roommate or unmarried partner is less than 15 and the value was allocated, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If age was not allocated, RELATE will be replace with a missing value. Starting in 2008, if a child-in-law is less than 15 or 90 and older, and the value was allocated, AGE will be replaced with a missing value. If age was not allocated, RELATE will be replace with a missing value.

Allocation of missing ages

For those who are missing an age and it hasn't been assigned previously, it will be allocated. The allocated value will be drawn from another person with a similar value for RELATE, SEX, presence of children, age of related people in the household, and MARST.

Post-allocation consistency checks

After AGE is allocated, a series of checks are performed to make sure the allocated AGE is consistent with other elements of the person. The following situations will cause AGE or RELATE to be replaced with a missing value and then re-allocated:

  • A child is not at least 12 years younger than the reference person or spouse and MARST is "Never married" - AGE will be re-allocated
  • A child is not at least 12 years younger than the reference person or spouse and is ever married or missing - RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • A child is 90 or older - RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • A parent is 15 or more years younger than the reference person or spouse and is never married - RELATE will be replaced with "Child"
  • A parents is not 15 or more years older than the reference person or spouse - RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • A parent is less than 30 years old - RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative." (Starting in 2008, this also extends to parent-in-law)
  • A grandchild is not 25 years younger than the reference person or spouse and is never married - AGE will be re-allocated
  • A grandchild is not 25 years younger than the reference person or spouse and is ever married - RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • If a grandchild is in a household where the reference person and spouse are younger than 30, RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • If a grandchild is 75 or older, RELATE will be replaced with "Other relative"
  • If a housemate/roommate or unmarried partner is under 15, AGE will be re-allocated
Internal ACS variables: AGE