Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) [1984 Panel] (ICPSR 8317)

Published: Sep 3, 2002

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census


Version V2

This longitudinal survey was designed to add significantly to the amount of detailed information available on the economic situation of households and persons in the United States. These data examine the level of economic well-being of the population and also provide information on how economic situations relate to the demographic and social characteristics of individuals. There are three basic elements contained in the survey. The first is a control card that records basic social and demographic characteristics for each person in a household, as well as changes in such characteristics over the course of the interviewing period. The second element is the core portion of the questionnaire, with questions repeated at each interview on labor force activity, types and amounts of income, participation in various cash and noncash benefit programs, attendance in postsecondary schools, private health insurance coverage, public or subsidized rental housing, low-income energy assistance, and school breakfast and lunch participation. The third element consists of topical modules which are series of supplemental questions asked during selected household visits. No topical modules were created for the first or second waves. The Wave III Rectangular Core and Topical Module File offers both the core data and additional data on (1) education and work history and (2) health and disability. In the areas of education and work history, data are supplied on the highest level of schooling attained, courses or programs studied in high school and after high school, whether the respondent received job training, and if so, for how long and under what program (e.g., CETA or WIN). Other items pertain to the respondent's general job history and include a description of selected previous jobs, duration of jobs, and reasons for periods spent not working. Health and disability variables present information on the general condition of the respondent's health, functional limitations, work disability, and the need for personal assistance. Data are also provided on hospital stays or periods of illness, health facilities used, and whether health insurance plans (private or Medicare) were available. Respondents whose children had physical, mental, or emotional problems were questioned about the causes of the problems and whether the children attended regular schools. The Wave IV Rectangular Core and Topical Module file contains both the core data and sets of questions exploring the subjects of (1) assets and liabilities, (2) retirement and pension coverage, and (3) housing costs, conditions, and energy usage. Some of the major assets for which data are provided are savings accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, Keogh and IRA accounts, home equity, life insurance, rental property, and motor vehicles. Data on unsecured liabilities such as loans, credit cards, and medical bills also are included. Retirement and pension information covers such items as when respondents expect to stop working, whether they will receive retirement benefits, whether their employers have retirement plans, if so whether they are eligible, and how much they expect to receive per year from these plans. In the category of housing costs, conditions, and energy usage, variables pertain to mortgage payments, real estate taxes, fire insurance, principal owed, when the mortgage was obtained, interest rates, rent, type of fuel used, heating facilities, appliances, and vehicles. The Wave V topical modules explore the subject areas of (1) child care, (2) welfare history and child support, (3) reasons for not working/reservation wage, and (4) support for nonhousehold members/work-related expenses. Data on child care include items on child care arrangements such as who provides the care, the number of hours of care per week, where the care is provided, and the cost. Questions in the areas of welfare history and child support focus on receipt of aid from specific welfare programs and child support agreements and their fulfillment. The reasons for not working/reservation wage module presents data on why persons are not in the labor force and the conditions under which they might join the labor force. Additional variables cover job search activities, pay rate required, and reason for refusal of a job offer. The set of questions dealing with nonhousehold members/work-related expenses contains items on regular support payments for nonhousehold members and expenses associated with a job such as union dues, licenses, permits, special tools, uniforms, or travel expenses. Information is supplied in the Wave VII Topical Module file on (1) assets and liabilities, (2) pension plan coverage, and (3) real estate property and vehicles. Variables pertaining to assets and liabilities are similar to those contained in the topical module for Wave IV. Pension plan coverage items include whether the respondent will receive retirement benefits, whether the employer offers a retirement plan and if the respondent is included in the plan, and contributions by the employer and the employee to the plan. Real estate property and vehicles data include information on mortgages held, amount of principal still owed and current interest rate on mortgages, rental and vacation properties owned, and various items pertaining to vehicles belonging to the household. Wave VIII Topical Module includes questions on support for nonhousehold members, work-related expenses, marital history, migration history, fertility history, and household relationships. Support for nonhousehold members includes data for children and adults not in the household. Weekly and annual work-related expenses are documented. Widowhood, divorce, separation, and marriage dates are part of the marital history. Birth expectations as well as dates of birth for all the householder's children, in the household or elsewhere, are recorded in the fertility history. Migration history data supplies information on birth history of the householder's parents, number of times moved, and moving expenses. Household relationships lists the exact relationships among persons living in the household. Part 49, Wave IX Rectangular Core and Topical Module Research File, includes data on annual income, retirement accounts, taxes, school enrollment, and financing. This topical module research file has not been edited nor imputed, but has been topcoded or bottomcoded and recoded if necessary by the Census Bureau to avoid disclosure of individual respondents' identities.

United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) [1984 Panel]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002-09-03.

Export Citation:

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1983-06 -- 1986-06

1983-10 -- 1986-07

[1] The Census Bureau has released each SIPP data file in two formats: a standard "rectangular" file with the individual as the unit of analysis, and a "relational" or modified hierarchical file in which the unit of analysis can be any of eight record types included in the file. The record types are (1) sample unit (in Wave I, this consisted of all persons living at a sampled address), (2) household, (3) family, (4) person, (5) wage and salary job, (6) self-employed job, (7) general income amounts 1, and (8) general income amounts 2. Within each sampling unit, records are sequenced by type, i.e., they are not strictly hierarchical. Pointers (record numbers or indices) on each record link it to records at the next higher and/or lower levels as appropriate. Some of the record types are padded with blanks so that all types within a file have the same logical record length. The 1984 Panel Annual Weights file provides the appropriate identification match fields for all respondents in Waves II-V of the 1984 panel as well as two longitudinal weights. One weight is controlled to the December 1983 population estimates of the Current Population Survey. The second is controlled to the March 1985 population estimates of the Current Population Survey. Frequencies for each of the nine waves of the 1984 Panel are available in individual frequency files. [2] The codebooks are provided by ICPSR 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.

The survey used a multistage stratified sampling design. Approximately 26,000 housing units were initially selected, and about 21,000 of these were occupied and eligible for interview. One-fourth of these households were interviewed each month, and households were re-interviewed at four-month intervals. All persons at least 15 years old who were present as household members at the time of the first interview are included for the entire study, except those moving to Alaska, outside the United States, or into military barracks.

Resident population of the United States, excluding persons living in institutions and military barracks.

personal interviews

survey data



2002-09-03 Part 49, Wave IX Rectangular Core and Topical Module Research File, has been added to this collection along with a PDF codebook. This research file has not been edited nor imputed, but has been topcoded or bottomcoded and recoded if necessary by the Census Bureau to avoid disclosure of individual respondents' identities. Data in the file covers annual income, retirement accounts, taxes, school enrollment, and financing. Codebooks for other data files in the collection have been converted to PDF as well.


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

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