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Description

COUNTY identifies the county where the household was enumerated, using the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) coding scheme. Counties are assigned codes alphabetically within states. The first 3 digits are usually identical to the FIPS county codes used in other datasets; ICPSR adds a digit to the FIPS codes to accommodate change over time. In general, if a county merged with another or was renamed before 1970, it receives an extra digit of 5. Like STATEICP, COUNTY facilitates merging IPUMS data with ICPSR data. COUNTY also identifies areas that were not part of any county, including the independent cities of Virginia and some Indian lands. COUNTY is a state-dependent variable; it must be read with one of the STATE variables (STATEICP, STATEFIP) to distinguish among counties located in different states.

Many county boundaries and some county names changed over time. The IPUMS does not impose a uniform county boundary system on the data, so a particular county listed for a given year in the IPUMS should be assumed to have the boundaries that it had in that year.

Counties are unavailable in public-use microdata from 1950 onwards. However, it is possible to recover some counties from low-level geographic identifiers. These include State Economic Areas (SEA) in 1950; county groups in 1970 (CNTYGP97) and 1980 (CNTYGP98); and Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA) from 1990 onwards, including Super-PUMAs (PUMASUPR) in 2000 (COUNTY cannot be constructed for 1960 1 % because geographic information below the state level is not currently available). Counties were identifiable if:

  • they were coterminous with a single identifiable SEA, county group, or PUMA; or
  • they contained multiple identifiable SEAs, county groups, or PUMAs, none of which extended into other counties. In this way, COUNTY identifies counties only for residents of areas that lie entirely within a single metro area, which prevents errors of commission (no non-residents of a county are identified as residents), but it puts no limit on errors of omission (sizable portions of some counties' populations are not identified by COUNTY).

An Excel spreadsheet provides a list of counties and their corresponding ICPSR and FIPS codes available in each year from 1950 onwards.

For municipios, the Puerto Rican statistical equivalent of U.S. counties, enumerated in the 1910-1920 Puerto Rican census, see PRCOUNTA (for an alphabetic version) and PRCOUNTY (for a numeric version).

User Note:
IPUMS COUNTY codes for Maryland and Nevada depart from the FIPS coding scheme. For Maryland, all FIPS codes of 009 and higher (excluding Baltimore City, which is coded as 5100 for IPUMS and 510 for FIPS) are shifted down by two in the IPUMS data. For example, Calvert County is coded as 009 in the FIPS coding scheme, but 0070 in the IPUMS samples.

Pershing County, Nevada is assigned FIPS code 270, while historical Ormsby County, Nevada uses FIPS code 250. In the IPUMS samples, Pershing County is instead coded as 0250 and cases from Ormsby County are coded into the Carson City county code of 0510. The historical Riovirgin County takes on county code 0270 in the IPUMS coding scheme.

Users will need to adjust the IPUMS codes to match the FIPS codes when merging in data from other sources.

Codes

COUNTY is a 4-digit numeric variable that identifies the county where the household was enumerated using the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) coding scheme. Counties are assigned codes alphabetically within states. Like STATEICP, COUNTY facilitates merging IPUMS data with ICPSR data. COUNTY also identifies areas that were not part of any county, including the independent cities of Virginia and some Indian lands. COUNTY specific variable codes for missing, edited, or unidentified observations, observations not applicable (N/A), observations not in universe (NIU), top and bottom value coding, etc. are provided below if applicable by Census year (and data sample if specified).

User Note: COUNTY is a state-dependent variable; it must be read with one of the STATE variables (STATEICP, STATEFIP) to distinguish among counties located in different states.

COUNTY Specific Variable Codes
0000 = County not identifiable from public-use data (1950-onward)*

See ICPSR County Codes for detailed COUNTY codes using the ICPSR coding scheme.

*Counties are unavailable in public-use microdata from 1950 onwards. However, it is possible to recover some counties from low-level geographic identifiers. See Counties identifiable in 1950-onward data for details.

Comparability

This variable is comparable across years, but county boundaries change over time.

User Note:
These county codes are compatible with historical county boundary files and with all ICPSR county-level data files.

Universe

  • 1850-1900: All households and group quarters.
  • 1910-1930: All households and group quarters; not available for Puerto Rico.
  • 1940: All households and group quarters.
  • 1950-onward: Households in publicly identifiable areas; not available for Puerto Rico.

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: --
  • 2003: --
  • 2002: --
  • 2001: --
  • 2000: 5%; 1% old; 1% unwt; 1%
  • 1990: 5% state; 1% metro; 1% unwt
  • 1980: 5% state; 1% metro
  • 1970: 1% metro fm1; 1% metro fm2
  • 1960: 5%
  • 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: --
  • 2016: --
  • 2015: --
  • 2014: --
  • 2013: --
  • 2012: --
  • 2011: --
  • 2010: --
  • 2009: --
  • 2008: --
  • 2007: --
  • 2006: --
  • 2005: --
  • 2000: --
  • 1990: --
  • 1980: --
  • 1970: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --

Flags

This variable has no flags.

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.