Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart
Our data extraction system is currently down for maintenance. While you may submit new extract requests, it may take longer than usual for your extract to finish. Thank you for your patience.
SPRULE
Rule for linking spouse or partner (new)

Description

SPRULE is a constructed variable that indicates the method by which the probable spouse/partner link shown in SPLOC was identified in samples 1970 to present.

In 2017, the family interrelationship variables for samples from 1970 to present were revised to increase comparability across IPUMS projects and include same-sex couples. Many researchers who are familiar with the previous version of family interrelationship variables will find it useful to read a brief overview of the key differences of the New IPUMS Family Interrelationship Variables. On this page you'll find information on how family interrelationship variables are constructed, common uses of these variables, and specific examples of how these variables can be used efficiently.

Samples prior to 1970 continue to use the original version of family interrelationship variables and the equivalent variable is named SPRULE_HIST

The IPUMS family interrelationship variables (1970 samples to present) address two types of ambiguity when forming links. First, we prioritize links based on how clear the relationship is between the two people being linked. Second, we use a series of logical steps to select between multiple potential spouses. SPRULE is a two digit variables that show how these two types of ambiguity were addressed when forming a spousal link. The first digit indicates how direct the relationship is between the two people and the second digit indicates if the link was selected among multiple options and, if so, how it was selected.

We first prioritize links within a household based how clear the relationship is between the two people being linked (using RELATE). The priority of the link is captured in the first digit of SPRULE. Except for links between a householder and an unmarried partner, a person must be "married" according to MARST in order to have a non-zero value for SPLOC.

The RELATE values below depend on the in-law editing process described here.

Direct links:
Spouse rule value: 1-

  • Householder to Spouse
  • Parent to Parent
  • Child to Child-in-law
  • Sibling to Sibling-in-law
  • Aunt/Uncle to Aunt/Uncle
  • Parent-in-law to Parent-in-law
  • Housemate to Housemate
  • Roomer to Roomer
  • Non-relative to Non-relative
  • Child to Child-in-law
  • Partner/friend to Partner/friend
  • Partner/roommate to Partner/roommate
  • Roomer/boarder to Roomer/boarder
2nd level links
Spouse rule value: 2-

  • Householder to Partner
3rd level links
Spouse rule value: 3-

  • Other relative to Grandchild, Child, Sibling, Cousin, Niece/Nephew, Sibling-in-law
  • Nonrelative to Roomer, Housemate, Partner/roommate
4th level links
Spouse rule value: 4-

  • Child to Child
  • Grandchild to Grandchild
  • Sibling to Sibling
  • Sibling-in-law to Sibling-in-law
  • Cousin to Cousin
  • Niece/nephew to Niece/nephew
  • Other relative to Grandparent, Aunt/Uncle, Parent, Householder
5th level links
Spouse rule value: 5-

  • Householder to Other relative, Non-relative

While the first step to finding a spouse link is based on their relationship to the reference person, this may not enough to uniquely determine the link. It is not uncommon for a person to be in a household where there are multiple people who could be their spouse. To be able to select among multiple potential links, we apply a set of logical steps within each priority level that selects among multiple potential links. This information is captured in the second digit of SPRULE.

SPLOC first links couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex, where there is only one potential spouse or partner. These links are the clearest, because there is only one possible spouse/partner to link to. The SPRULE will have a second digit of 1 to show that the household composition made this pairing very clear. In households where there are multiple potential spouses, opposite-sex links are prioritized over same-sex links. When there is only one opposite-sex potential spouse/partner, the second digit of SPRULE is a 2. When there are multiple potential opposite-sex spouses, relative age is used to pair up spouses. When there are two people of the same age, location in the household is used as a "tie breaker." These links will be denoted with a 3 and 4 on the second digit of SPRULE, respectively, to indicate the ambiguity of the link.

Unlike some other IPUMS data projects, IPUMS USA does not pair same-sex couples in households that appear to contain multiple same-sex couples. In the original data, MARST does not distinguish between "Married, living with spouse" and "Married, living separately." IPUMS ACS uses the family inter-relationship variables to create this distinction. IPUMS cannot distinguish a household of married men living separately from their wives from a household of men married to each other.

Clarity level 1
Spouse rule value: -1

  • There is only one potential spouse or partner (including both same-sex and opposite-sex spouse/partners)
Clarity level 2
Spouse rule value: -2

  • There is only one potential opposite-sex spouse or partner.
Clarity level 3
Spouse rule value: -3

  • When there are multiple possible opposite-sex spouse/partner possibilities, relative age is used to pair up spouses.
Clarity level 4
Spouse rule value: -4

  • When multiple possible opposite-sex spouse/partner possibilities but there are two people of the same age or age otherwise does not allow a clear link, location in the household is used as a "tie breaker".

The two steps together determine the value of SPRULE. For example, in a household consisting of a householder, a married female child, and a married male child-in-law, the daughter and child-in-law will be linked in priority 1 during clarity level 1. SPRULE would therefore be 11.

Codes

00 = No spouse or partner of this person in the household.

Comparability

Due to variation in the information available for identifying probable spouse and partner locations, there are some differences across years. For example, 1990 "unmarried partner" became an option for RELATE. Prior to this, links between unmarried householders and partners are not allowed.

Comparability with other IPUMS Projects
The development of new family interrelationship variables was prompted by the desire to have more comparability between different IPUMS projects and over time. Each project has different allowed links because of different level of detail in each project, but the logic of assigning spouses in ambiguous situations is the same.

Universe

Availability

United States
  • 2018: All samples
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: ACS; ACS 3yr; ACS 5yr
  • 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: --
  • 1950: --
  • 1940: --
  • 1930: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --
  • 1900: --
  • 1880: --
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 2018: All samples
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: PRCS; PRCS 3yr; PRCS 5yr
  • 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: --
  • 1920: --
  • 1910: --

Flags

This variable has no flags.

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.