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PUMA
Public Use Microdata Area

Description

PUMA identifies the Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) where the housing unit was located. In the 1990 State sample, PUMAs generally follow the boundaries of county groups, single counties, or census-defined "places". If these areas exceed 200,000 residents, they are divided into as many PUMAs of 100,000+ residents as possible. None of the 1990 State sample PUMAs cross state lines. For the 1990 Metro sample, PUMAs generally follow the boundaries of whole central cities, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or non-metropolitan places (See METAREA for definitions of these terms). If these areas exceed 200,000 residents, they are divided into as many PUMAs of 100,000+ residents as possible. 1990 Metro sample PUMAs sometimes cross state lines; when they do, STATEFIP and STATEICP codes are not available for households in those PUMAs. PUMAs in the 2000 census, 2010 census, and the 2005-onward ACS/PRCS also consist of 100,000+ residents, and they do not cross state lines.

Note that PUMA is state-dependent. The codes must be read in combination with one of the STATE variables (STATEFIP or STATEICP). PUMAs are categorized by type (e.g., metropolitan, mixed metro/nonmetro, non-metropolitan) in the variable PUMATYPE. PUMA is similar to the county group variables, CNTYGP97 (1970) and CNTYGP98 (1980), and the State Economic Area variable (SEA) for 1940 and 1950.

Note Regarding Multi-Year Samples: The Census Bureau redraws PUMA boundaries every 10 years based on population information gathered from the most recent decennial census. ACS samples incorporate the new PUMAs within a few years of the Decennial Census. See the comparability statement to see which PUMAs are used in each sample. In Multi-Year ACS files, PUMA boundaries depend on the original year the respondent was interviewed (see MULTYEAR). For example in the 2010-2012 3-year ACS sample, respondents from 2010 and 2011 correspond to the Census 2000 based PUMAs, while respondents from 2012 correspond to the Census 2010 based PUMAs.

Codes

PUMA is a 5-digit numeric variable identifying the Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) where the housing unit was located. PUMAs are categorized by type (e.g., metropolitan, mixed metro/nonmetro, non-metropolitan) in the variable PUMATYPE. PUMA is similar to the county group variables, CNTYGP97 (1970) and CNTYGP98 (1980), and the State Economic Area variable (SEA) for 1940 and 1950. PUMA 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 by Census year (and data sample if specified).

User Note: PUMAs are drawn and coded differently for the 1990 State and Metro samples. In the 1990 State sample, PUMAs generally follow the boundaries of groups of counties, single counties, or census-defined "places". If such areas exceed 200,000 residents, they are divided into as many PUMAs of 100,000+ residents as possible. None of the 1990 State sample PUMAs cross state lines. In the 1990 Metro sample, PUMAs generally follow the boundaries of whole central cities, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or non-metropolitan places (See METAREA for definitions of these terms). If these areas exceed 200,000 residents, they are divided into as many PUMAs of 100,000+ residents as possible. 1990 Metro sample PUMAs sometimes cross state lines; when they do, STATEFIP and STATEICP codes are not available for households in those PUMAs. PUMAs in the 2000 census, 2010 census, and the 2005-onward ACS/PRCS also consist of 100,000+ residents, and they do not cross state lines.

User Note: PUMA is state-dependent, therefore the codes must be read in combination with one of the STATE variables: STATEFIP or STATEICP.

PUMA Specific Variable Codes
See links for details regarding PUMA codes:
Census 2010 based PUMA map and Boundary files
Census 2000 based PUMA and Super-PUMA Maps, Boundary files and Detailed Composition
1990 PUMA Maps, Boundary files and Detailed Composition
1990 PUMAs crossing state lines, 1 percent Metro sample

User Note: In the 2006-2011 ACS, persons living in Louisiana PUMAs 01801, 01802, and 01905 were all coded as living in Louisiana PUMA 77777. This is because these three PUMAs no longer had sufficient population to be included as separate entities due the effects of hurricane Katrina.

Comparability

This variable is not comparable across years. PUMAs did not necessarily retain the same boundaries or PUMA codes between 1990 and 2000. The boundaries and PUMA codes are the same for the 2000 census and the 2005-2011 ACS/PRCS samples, with one notable exception in Louisiana: due to population displacement following Hurricane Katrina, three PUMA's (01801, 01802, and 01905) are combined into code 77777 for the 2006-onward ACS and for all cases in the 2005-2007 ACS 3-Year file. They no longer had sufficient population to be included as separate entities.

PUMA boundaries based on the 2010 Decennial Census are used for 2012-onward ACS samples.

Universe

  • : All households and group quarters.
  • 1990: All households and group quarters.
  • 2000: All households and group quarters.
  • ACS, PRCS: All households and group quarters.
  • 2010: All households and group quarters.

Availability

United States
  • 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% unwt
  • 1990: 5% state; 1% metro; 1% unwt; 3% elderly
  • 1980: --
  • 1970: --
  • 1960: 5%
  • 1950: --
  • 1940: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --
  • 1900: --
  • 1880: --
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 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: PR 5%
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: --
  • 1970: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --

Flags

This variable has no flags.

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.