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Consumer Expenditure Surveys
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PUMD Documentation

This page contains the documentation for the CE public-use microdata (PUMD).

All year-specific Interview and Diary Survey documentation has been combined into the PUMD Getting Started Guide.

Additional resources

  • Survey materials lists the documents used to collect data for the Interview Survey and the Diary Survey.
  • Hierarchical groupings (zip) includes a description of each UCC along with its hierarchical standing within each expenditure or income category for a given year. Hierarchical groupings are not available for years prior to 1996. For years 1996 and forward, three file types are available:
    • Integrated groupings lists UCCs that the CE tables use, and identifies the survey source for the UCCs. These files use this naming convention: CE-HG-Integ-2017.
    • Interview groupings lists the UCCs from the Interview Survey. These files use this naming convention: CE-HG-Inter-2017. Not available for 1996.
    • Diary groupings list the UCCs from the Diary Survey. These files use this naming convention: CE-HG-Diary-2017. Not available for 1996.

      For each UCC, the files provide this information:

    Column Content Start position Options

    1

    Type of information in the line 1 1: First line of name
    2: Second line of name
    *: Comment line

    2

    Level of aggregation 4 Highest level of aggregation is 1 and lowest 9.

    3

    Name of the UCC 7

    4

    UCC lists the identifier of the UCC 70

    5

    Source or purpose of the UCC 83 I: Interview survey
    D: Diary survey
    G and T: Titles
    S: Statistical UCCs

    6

    Factor by which the mean has to be multiplied to match the annualized data in the published tables 86 1: Multiply times 1
    4: Multiply times 4

    7

    Data sections 89 CUCHARS: CU characteristics
    FOOD: Food expenditures
    EXPEND: Non-food expenditures
    INCOME: Income types
    ASSETS: Asset types
    ADDENDA: Other financial information and gifts
  • Source selection file (XLSX) identifies the survey source for the characteristics, expenditure, and income items in the CE tables. Information on source selection is available starting with 1996.
  • Description of income imputation provides information on the methods the CE program uses to estimate income starting in 2004.
  • User's Guide to Income Imputation presents proper procedures to obtain valid descriptive and inferential statistics (means, standard errors, quantiles, and regression parameters) from CE income data.
  • Protection of respondent confidentiality provides information on the methods the CE surveys use to protect the confidentiality of respondents.
  • Errata provide information on the errors and their correction in the files of a particular year.