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Survey of Consumer Finances, 1966 (ICPSR 7446)

Principal Investigator(s):


This data collection is one in a series of financial surveys of consumers conducted annually since 1946. In a nationally representative sample, the head of each family unit was interviewed. Starting in 1966, in order to examine the effect that increased car ownership was having on American families, the data collected in this series were organized so that they could be analyzed by both family unit and car unit. The 1966 data are based on car unit. Survey questions regarding automobiles included number of drivers and car owners in the family, make and model of each car, purchase method, car financing and installment debt, and expectations of car purchases in the coming year. Other questions in the 1966 survey covered the respondent's attitudes toward national economic conditions (e.g., the effect of Vietnam War involvement and relations with other communist countries on United States business) and price activity, as well as the respondent's own financial situation. Other questions examined the family unit head's occupation, and the nature and amount of the family's income, debts, liquid assets, changes in liquid assets, savings, investment preferences, and actual and expected purchases of major durables. In addition, the survey explored in detail the subject of housing, e.g., previous and present home ownership, value of respondent's dwelling, and mortgage information. Each respondent also was asked about unemployment, job history, hours of part- and full-time employment, and retirement plans. Personal data include age and education of head, household composition, and occupation.

Series: Survey of Consumer Finances Series

Access Notes

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Dataset - Download All Files (13.3 MB)

Study Description


University of Michigan. Survey Research Center. Economic Behavior Program. Survey of Consumer Finances, 1966. ICPSR07446-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07446.v2

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors Corporation
  • Ford Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   automobile ownership, business conditions, consumer attitudes, consumer behavior, consumer expectations, consumer expenditures, debt, disposable income, durable goods, economic conditions, employment, families, financial assets, financial balances, home ownership, household budgets, household composition, household expenditures, household income, housing, income distribution, job history, mortgages, national economy, occupations, personal debt, personal finances, prices, retirement plans, savings, unemployment, working hours

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1966

Date of Collection:  

  • 1966

Universe:   The population of the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Data on a family unit basis have a record for each family, with car information only for the first (usually the newest) car owned. Data on a car unit basis have a record for every car owned by the family. By using a global filter, data on a car unit basis can also be analyzed on a family unit basis.


Sample:   The sample was made up of a national cross-section of family units.

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:  

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