Current Population Survey, January 2009: Unbanked/Underbanked Supplement (ICPSR 29649)

Published: Mar 8, 2011

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census; United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


Version V1

This data collection is comprised of responses from two sets of survey questionnaires, the basic Current Population Survey (CPS) and a survey administered as a supplement to the January 2009 CPS questionnaire on the topic of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. This is the first time this particular supplement was administered.

The CPS, administered monthly, collects labor force data about the civilian noninstitutionalized population living in the United States. Moreover, the CPS provides current estimates of the economic status and activities of this population which includes 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 administration of the survey.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sponsored the supplement survey as part of its efforts to bring unbanked and underbanked consumers into the economic mainstream. The FDIC plans to use the results to better inform policy-making on issues related to economic inclusion. The supplement questions were asked of all interviewed households, as appropriate. Respondents were queried on their households banking status, use of financial services, and use of alternative financial services like payday lending. The Unbanked/Underbanked supplement was conducted at the household level.

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

United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Current Population Survey, January 2009: Unbanked/Underbanked Supplement. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-03-08.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


2009-01-18 -- 2009-01-24

Users are strongly encouraged to refer the User Guide (produced by the Principal Investigators), which contains the questionnaire for the supplement, as well as additional detailed technical documentation regarding the study design, sampling frame used, and response rates.

Additional universe statements for each variable are defined in the basic or supplement record layouts found in Attachments 6 and 7, 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.

The supplement survey was conducted at the household level. Attachment 13 of the User Guide contains tallies of unweighted counts for the supplement variables-at the household level. The counts shown in Attachment 13 will not match the counts found in the ICPSR codebook, which produced counts at the person (or respondent) level for the basic and supplement variables.

A multistage probability sample, based on the results of the most recent decennial census with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was selected to represent the universe of approximately 59,000 households.

The basic CPS universe consists of all persons aged 16 years and older in the civilian noninstitutionalized population living in households of the United States. The January 2009 supplement universe represented the full CPS sample comprised of all interviewed CPS households.

and for the January 2009 CPS supplement, households were the unit of observation.

For the basic CPS survey, the unit of observation was individuals within housing units

survey data

The following description pertains to the CPS supplement variables. Item HES1 determined if anyone in the household had a checking or savings account. Items HES1b and HES2 established how knowledgeable the interviewee was regarding the household finances. Those who responded as having no knowledge of or did not specify their level of involvement in the household finances were not asked any further questions. Items HES4-HES6 and HES7a, HES8a, HES9a, and HES10a were asked to those households that were previously banked, but closed their deposit account with a mainstream financial institution. Items HES7b, HES8b, HES9b, and HES10b related to reasons why the household never had an account in a mainstream financial institution. Items HES11-HES13 applied to all unbanked households (except for those who responded yes to HES5) and asked about the likelihood of them opening an account. HES14-HES31 applied to all households, regardless of their banking status. These questions asked about the use of certain financial products and services that were most commonly used by the unbanked and underbanked population. The questions also asked about frequency of use and reasons why the household chose to use alternative financial service providers or products, as opposed to mainstream financial institutions.



The basic CPS data contain seven weight variables:

  • Household Weight -- HWHHWGT -- Used for tallying household characteristics.
  • Family Weight -- PWFMWGT -- Used only for tallying family characteristics.
  • 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.

There are also two weights associated with the January 2009 supplement, a household supplement weight (HHSUPWGT) and a person supplement weight (PWSUPWGT). Users are strongly encouraged to refer to the User Guide for detailed information on how to use all of the weights, as well as how they were derived.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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This study is provided by Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD).