Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1984: Interview Survey (ICPSR 8671)

Published: Jul 14, 2010

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


Version V2

The ongoing Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) provides a continuous flow of information on the buying habits of American consumers and also furnishes data to support periodic revisions of the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) consists of two separate components: (1) a quarterly Interview panel survey in which each consumer unit in the sample is interviewed every three months over a 15-month period, and (2) a Diary or record keeping survey completed by the sample consumer units for two consecutive one-week periods. The Interview survey was designed to collect data on major items of expense, household characteristics, and income. The expenditures covered by the survey are those which respondents can recall fairly accurately for three months or longer. In general, these expenditures include relatively large purchases, such as those for property, automobiles, and major appliances, or expenditures which occur on a fairly regular basis, such as rent, utilities, or insurance premiums. Expenditures incurred while on trips are also covered by the survey. Excluded are nonprescription drugs, household supplies, and personal care items. Including global estimates on spending for food, it is estimated that about 95 percent of expenditures are covered in the Interview survey. The Consumer Unit Characteristics and Income (FMLY) files in this collection contain consumer unit characteristics, consumer unit income, characteristics and earnings of the reference person, and characteristics and earnings of the spouse. Summary expenditure data are also provided. The Member Characteristics and Income (MEMB) files present selected characteristics for each consumer unit member, including reference person and spouse. Each record in the FMLY and MEMB files consists of three months of data. Detailed Expenditures (MTAB) files provide monthly data at the Universal Classification Code (UCC) level. In these files expenditures for each consumer unit are classified according to UCC categories and are specified as gifts or non-gifts. The Income (ITAB) files supply monthly data at the UCC level for consumer unit characteristics and income. Parts 21 through 25 of the collection offer consumer durables information for the following topics: household appliance purchases, inventory of appliances, vehicle inventory and purchases, vehicle disposals, and travel. Parts 26 and 27 are files designed for use with the printed publication based on these data.

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1984:  Interview Survey. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-07-14.

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This survey includes both urban and rural data.

Setup statements and system files are based on the information provided by the codebooks.

The CES is based on a national probability sample of households. The sampling frame was generated from the 1970 Census 100 percent detail file, augmented by new construction permits and coverage improvement techniques used to eliminate recognized deficiencies in that census. The sample design is a rotating panel survey in which one-fifth of the sample is dropped and a new group added each quarter. Each panel is interviewed for five consecutive quarters and then dropped from the survey.

Total civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States.

Consumer expenditure

personal interviews

survey data



2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 30 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

1987-05-19 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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.

2010-07-14 New data, setup, and system files were generated and added to the archive for subsequent distribution.


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

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