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Current Population Survey, December 2002: Food Security Supplement (ICPSR 3980)

Alternate Title:  CPS, December 2002

Principal Investigator(s):


This data collection is comprised of responses from two sets of survey questionnaires, the basic Current Population Survey (CPS) and a survey on the topic of food security in the United States, which was administered as a supplement to the December 2002 CPS questionnaire.

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. Data from the CPS are provided for the week prior to the survey.

The supplement was intended to research the full range of severity of food insecurity as experienced in United States households. The food security questions were asked of all interviewed households, as appropriate. Respondents were queried on how much the household spent for food, their use of federal and community food assistance programs, whether they were able to afford enough food, food sufficiency, and ways of coping with not having enough food.

Demographic variables include age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, veteran status, educational attainment, occupation, and income.

Series: Current Population Survey Series

Access Notes

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download these data.


Dataset - Download All Files (926.2 MB) large dataset
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Study Description


United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census, and United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Current Population Survey, December 2002: Food Security Supplement. ICPSR03980-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-09-08.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   census data, compensation, demographic characteristics, economic conditions, employment, federal assistance, food aid, food preferences, food security, food shortages, full-time employment, Hispanic or Latino origins, household composition, households, hunger, income, industry, labor (work), labor force, part-time employment, population characteristics, wages and salaries, work, work experience, working hours

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2002-12

Date of Collection:  

  • 2002-12

Unit of Observation:   For the basic CPS survey questions, the unit of observation was an individual within a housing unit, and for the Food Security supplement the household was the unit of observation.

Universe:   The basic CPS universe is comprised of all persons in the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States living in households. The December 2002 supplement universe represented the full CPS sample comprised of all interviewed CPS households.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The Food Security supplement items were used by the supplement sponsor to produce a scaled measure of food insecurity. Responses to individual items in the supplement may not be meaningful measures of food insufficiency, and should not be used in such a manner.

Users are strongly encouraged to refer to the User Guide (produced by the Principal Investigators), which contains not only information about the basic CPS survey, but also detailed technical documentation specific to the Food Security Supplement. In particular, Attachment 9 of the User Guide contains the Food Security supplement questionnaire, and Attachment 18 contains user notes regarding the Food Security supplement.

The universe statements for each variable are defined in either the basic or supplement record layout, which are located in Attachment 7 and 8, respectively, of the User Guide.

ICPSR removed all FILLER and PADDING variables from the data. As a result, the column locations in any ICPSR-released data product (e.g., codebook and setup files) will have column locations that are not consistent with locations described in the User Guide.


Sample:   The CPS uses a multistage probability sample based on results of the decennial census, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


The data contain nine weight variables:

  • Household Weight -- HWHHWGT -- Used in tallying household-level characteristics for labor force survey variables.
  • Family Weight -- PWFMWGT -- Used only in tallying family-level characteristics for labor force survey variables.
  • Longitudinal Weight -- PWLGWGT -- Found only on adult records matched from month to month (used for gross flows analysis).
  • Outgoing Rotation Weight -- PWORWGT -- Used for tallying information collected only in outgoing rotations.
  • Final Weight -- PWSSWGT -- Used for most tabulations, controlled to independent estimates for (1) States; (2) Origin, Sex, and Age; and (3) Age, Race, and Sex.
  • Veteran's Weight -- PWVETWGT -- Used for tallying veteran's data only.
  • Composited Final Weight -- PWCMPWGT -- Used to create BLS's published labor force statistics.
  • Supplement Household Weight -- HHSUPWGT -- Used in tallying household-level characteristics for supplement survey variables.
  • Supplement Person Weight -- PWSUPWGT -- Used in tallying household member-level characteristics for supplement survey variables.

Users are strongly encouraged to refer to the User Guide for additional detailed information on how to use these weights, as well as how they were derived.

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

Description of Variables:  

The Food Security supplement variables can be categorized by five major sections:

  1. Food Spending (HES1A-HES8).
  2. Minimum Food Spending Needed (HES8B-HES8D).
  3. Food Assistance Program Participation (HES9-HESP9).
  4. Food Sufficiency and Food Security (HESS1-HESSHM5).
  5. Ways of Avoiding or Ameliorating Food Deprivation -- Coping Strategies (HESC1-HESCM4).

Presence of Common Scales:   Detailed information regarding the scales is located in Attachment 18 of the User Guide.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2011-09-08 The ASCII data for this collection have been completely replaced. The data collection has been updated to include SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files for use with the new data. Also included in the update are a corresponding SAS transport (CPORT) file, SPSS system file, Stata system file, and a tab-delimited version of the new ASCII data.

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