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Current Population Survey, March/April 2008 Match Files: Child Support Supplement (ICPSR 29646)

Alternate Title:   CPS, March/April 2008

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census; United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics; United States Department of Health and Human Services


This data collection is comprised of responses from the March and April installments of the 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS). Both the March and April surveys used two sets of questions, the basic CPS and a separate supplement for each month.

The CPS, administered monthly, is a labor force survey providing current estimates of the economic status and activities of the population of the United States. Specifically, the CPS provides estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics, and unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment.

In addition to the basic CPS questions, respondents were asked questions from the March supplement, known as the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) supplement. The ASEC provides supplemental data on work experience, income, noncash benefits, and migration. Comprehensive work experience information was given on the employment status, occupation, and industry of persons 15 years old and older. Additional data for persons 15 years old and older are available concerning weeks worked and hours per week worked, reason not working full time, total income and income components, and place of residence on March 1, 2007. The March supplement also contains data covering nine noncash income sources: food stamps, school lunch program, employer-provided group health insurance plan, employer-provided pension plan, personal health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, CHAMPUS or military health care, and energy assistance. Questions covering training and assistance received under welfare reform programs, such as job readiness training, child care services, or job skill training were also asked in the March supplement.

The April supplement, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, queried respondents on the economic situation of persons and families for the previous year. Moreover, all household members 15 years of age and older that are a biological parent of children in the household that have an absent parent were asked detailed questions about child support and alimony. Information regarding child support was collected to determine the size and distribution of the population with children affected by divorce or separation, or other relationship status change. Moreover, the data were collected to better understand the characteristics of persons requiring child support, and to help develop and maintain programs designed to assist in obtaining child support. These data highlight alimony and child support arrangements made at the time of separation or divorce, amount of payments actually received, and value and type of any property settlement.

The April supplement data were matched to March supplement data for households that were in the sample in both March and April 2008. In March 2008, there were 4,522 household members eligible, of which 1,431 required imputation of child support data. When matching the March 2008 and April 2008 data sets, there were 170 eligible people on the March file that did not match to people on the April file. Child support data for these 170 people were imputed. The remaining 1,261 imputed cases were due to nonresponse to the child support questions.

Demographic variables include age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, veteran status, educational attainment, occupation, and income. Data on employment and income refer to the preceding year, although other demographic data refer to the time at which the survey was administered.

Series: Current Population Survey Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and United States Department of Health and Human Services. Current Population Survey, March/April 2008 Match Files: Child Support Supplement. ICPSR29646-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-12-06. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29646.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29646.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alimony, census data, child support, compensation, demographic characteristics, economic conditions, employee benefits, employment, energy assistance, full-time employment, health insurance, Hispanic or Latino origins, household composition, households, income, industry, labor (work), labor force, Medicaid, Medicare, part-time employment, pensions, population characteristics, wages and salaries, welfare reform, welfare services, working hours

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2007-03--2008-04

Date of Collection:   

  • 2008-03--2008-04

Unit of Observation:    household, family, individual

Universe:    The civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States living in housing units, and members of the Armed Forces living in civilian housing units on a military base or in a household not on a military base.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed the data. Consistency checks and standardization of missing values were performed by the principal investigators. Users should contact the principal investigators if further information is desired.

These data are in a hierarchical file structure with three record types: Household, Family, and Person. Users are strongly encouraged to refer to the User Guide, which contains the questionnaires for the supplements and additional detailed technical documentation on how to work with the data.

The file is sorted by Census state code (GESTCEN), then by core-based statistical area code (GTCBSA).


Sample:    A multistage probability sample based on results of the decennial census was used for the housing unit.


This data collection contains six different weights:


March Supplement Household weight.


March Supplement Family weight.


Basic CPS final weight.


Earnings/not in labor force weight.


March Supplement final weight.


Supplement weight.

Detailed information on the construction and use of all the weights is located in the User Guide.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-12-06

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