2012 ACS and PRCS Minimum and Maximum Codes

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The following fourteen housing variables and seven person variables are top-coded in the 2012 American Community Survey and Puerto Rican Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample files:


Housing Variables IPUMS Variables Person Variables IPUMS Variables
Electricity (monthly cost) - ELEP (top-coded) COSTELEC Wages or salary income last year - WAGP (top-coded) INCWAGE
Gas (monthly cost) - GASP (top-coded) COSTGAS Self-employment income last year (signed) - SEMP (top-coded and bottom-coded) INCBUS00
Water (yearly cost) - WATP (top-coded) COSTWATR Interest, dividends, and net rental income last year (signed) - INTP (top-coded and bottom-coded) INCINVST
House Heating fuel (yearly cost) - FULP (top-coded) COSTFUEL Retirement income last year - RETP (top-coded) INCRETIR
Condo fee (monthly amount) - CONP (top-coded) CONDOFEE All other income last year - OIP (top-coded) INCOTHER
Monthly rent - RNTP (top-coded) RENT Age - AGEP (top-coded) AGE
Property taxes (yearly amount) - TAXP (top-coded) PROPTX99 Travel time to work - JWMNP (top-coded) TRANTIME
Fire/hazard/flood insurance (yearly amount) - INSP (top-coded) PROPINSR    
Mortgage payment (monthly amount) - MRGP (top-coded) MORTAMT1    
Second mortgage payment (monthly amount) - SMP (top-coded) MORTAMT2    
Mobile home costs (yearly amount) - MHP (top-coded) MOBLHOME    
Number of rooms - RMSP (top-coded) ROOMS    
Number of bedrooms - BDSP (top-coded) BEDROOMS    
Property value - VALP (top-coded) VALUEH    


The tables below show the top-code only or the top-code and bottom-code values for each of these variables by state. These top-codes and bottom-codes were derived based on the following rules:

  1. Age, travel time to work, and all base dollar amounts are top-coded using the state mean of all cases greater than or equal to the top-code state minimum value. The only exception to the top-code state minimum value is TAX which uses the top-code national minimum value. Income amounts which can have negative values (SEMP and INTP) are bottom-coded using the state mean of all cases less than or equal to the bottom-code state maximum value. Recodes of dollar amounts use the rounded top-coded/bottom-coded base dollar amounts without any additional top-coding/bottom-coding.
  2. Top-coded property taxes are further assigned to one of 68 categories.

The top-codes listed below reflect the IPUMS data. Users should be aware that these top-codes diverge from the top-codes listed in the Census Bureau's documentation for two main reasons:

  • The Census Bureau rounds its top-coded values before releasing the public-use data. For example, wage and salary income is rounded to the nearest $1,000 such that an actual top-coded value of $158,333 would become $158,000 in the public-use data. In most cases, these top-codes are off by no more than 0.1% from what would have been obtained if the Census Bureau had released the original, non-rounded top-codes. Monthly electricity and gas costs variables are rounded to the nearest $10. Because IPUMS multiplies these amounts by 12 to obtain the annual electricity and gas costs, this rounding error is similarly multiplied by 12. Still, most IPUMS utility top-codes diverge from the non-rounded utility top-codes by no more than 1%.
  • While the Census Bureau documents top-codes for property taxes as actual dollar amounts, the public-use version of this variable is collapsed into sixty-nine categories.

The top-codes and bottom-codes for the 2012 ACS/PRCS files are available here (.xls).




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