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Survey of Consumer Finances, 1998 (ICPSR 3155)

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Arthur Kennickell; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System


Version V1

The purpose of this data collection effort was to provide an accurate representation of the distribution of elements composing family balance sheets across families in the United States. To that end, the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances was designed to gather household-level information closely comparable to that obtained in the SURVEY OF CONSUMER FINANCES, 1995 (ICPSR 2193). Detailed data were collected on the composition of household budgets, the terms of loans, and relationships with financial institutions. Information was also obtained on the employment history and pension rights of the survey respondent and the spouse or partner of the respondent. Detailed data were also gathered on characteristics of the survey respondent's housing and vehicle(s). In addition to recording data on the economic assets and liabilities of families, the survey examined the attitudes of consumers toward credit use and their reactions to consumer credit regulations, and lines of credit. Demographic variables include age, sex, marital status, housing, and financial independence.

Kennickell, Arthur, and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Survey of Consumer Finances, 1998. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

United States Department of the Treasury. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging

United States Small Business Administration

Government Accountability Office

United States Congress. Joint Committee on Taxation


1998-01 -- 1998-08

The data have been optimized and thus have a different record length from the original provided by the principal investigators.

The SAS transport files were created using the SAS XPORT engine.

The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is based on a dual-frame sample design (see Arthur B. Kennickell and R. Louise Woodburn, "Consistent Weight Design for the 1989, 1992, and 1995 SCFs, and the Distribution of Wealth," August 1997, for more details). One set of the survey cases was selected from a standard multistage area probability design. This part of the sample, which contributed 2,813 cases to the final set of interviews, is intended to provide good coverage of characteristics, such as home ownership, that are broadly distributed in the population. The other set of the survey cases was selected as a list sample from statistical records (the Individual Tax File) derived from tax data by the Statistics of Income Division of the Internal Revenue Service. These records were made available under strict rules governing confidentiality, the rights of potential respondents to refuse participation in the survey, and the types of information that can be made available. This second sample was designed to disproportionately select families that were likely to be relatively wealthy (see Arthur B. Kennickell, "List Sample Design for the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances," April 1998,, for a more extended discussion of the design of the list sample). The list sample contributed 1,496 cases to the final set of interviews. Because of the complexity of the SCF design, users cannot apply some of the standard procedures for variance estimation. A set of sample replicates has been created with bootstrap techniques and analysis weights have been computed independently for each replicate. Analysts may use these weights to make approximate estimates of sampling variance. Replicate weights corresponding to both X42000 and X42001 are available. See the codebook for more details.

Households within the 48 contiguous United States.

personal interviews and telephone interviews

survey data



2006-03-30 File AP3155.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2006-03-30 File QU3155.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2006-03-30 File CB3155.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


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

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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