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Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1980-1981: Diary Survey (ICPSR 8235)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics


This data collection contains selected expenditure and income data from the diary components of the 1980 and 1981 Consumer Expenditure Surveys. The principal objectives of the survey were to collect current consumer expenditure data to provide a continuous flow of data on the buying habits of American consumers for use in a wide variety of social and economic research and analysis, and to provide data for future revisions to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The 1980 diary survey data were derived from the reports of over 5,500 sample consumer units. Consumer units were asked to list all of their expenses during the period they were in the survey. The diary data were collected with a household characteristics questionnaire and a separate questionnaire to record daily expenses. The diary survey was intended to obtain reliable expenditure data on small, frequently- purchased items that are normally difficult to recall. These items include expenditures for food and beverages, gas and electricity, gasoline, housekeeping supplies, nonprescription drugs and medical supplies, and personal care products and services.

Series: Consumer Expenditure 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.


DS1:  Consumer Unit Characteristics and Aggregated Expenditures, 1980 - Download All Files (11.951 MB)
DS2:  Member Characteristics, 1980 - Download All Files (3.035 MB)
DS3:  Detailed Expenditures, 1980 - Download All Files (11.133 MB)
DS4:  Codebook for Parts 1-3: Consumer Expenditures Survey, 1980, Diary Survey
No downloadable data files available.
DS5:  Consumer Unit Characteristics and Aggregated Expenditures, 1981 - Download All Files (9.713 MB)
DS6:  Member Characteristics, 1981 - Download All Files (3.04 MB)
DS7:  Detailed Expenditures, 1981 - Download All Files (11.405 MB)
DS8:  Codebook for Parts 5-7: Consumer Expenditures Survey, 1981, Diary Survey
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1980-1981: Diary Survey. ICPSR08235-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08235.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08235.v2

Export Citation:

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    consumer behavior, consumer expenditures, consumption, debt, demographic characteristics, household budgets, household expenditures, household income, purchasing

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1980--1981

Date of Collection:   

  • 1980--1981

Universe:    Households in the United States. In addition to the population residing in regular housing units, this includes boarding houses, housing facilities for students and workers, staff units in institutions such as prisons, hospitals and homes for the elderly, infirm, or needy, permanent-type living quarters in hotels and motels, and mobile home parks.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Between 1980 and 1981, the survey concepts and procedures did not change. Geographic classification was by Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) status and Census region. However, the 1981 sample did not include rural areas outside the SMSA samples. Since the rural sample was not collected in 1981, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was able to provide region data for consumer units living outside SMSAs in 1981. In 1980, the region was collapsed because the outside rural west sample was too small to meet confidentiality requirements. (2) Unlike previous surveys, which were conducted every 10 to 12 years, the 1980-1981 surveys were the beginning of an ongoing survey that provided data on a continual basis. (3) Two sets of population weights are provided. (4) The codebooks are provided by the principal investigator as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    A nationwide probability sample of households designed to be representative of the entire population was drawn.

Data Source:

personal interviews and self-enumerated forms


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-11-14

Version History:

  • 2003-09-16 The data producer resupplied all the data files and codebooks, which were provided as PDF. The revised data add the origin of the reference person to the family characteristics.

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