Urban Poverty and Family Life Survey of Chicago, 1987 (ICPSR 6258)

Version Date: Nov 4, 1997 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
William Julius, et al. Wilson


Version V2

Slide tabs to view more

This survey was undertaken to assemble a broad range of family, household, employment, schooling, and welfare data on families living in urban poverty areas of Chicago. The researchers were seeking to test a variety of theories about urban poverty. Questions concerned respondents' current lives as well as their recall of life events from birth to age 21. Major areas of investigation included household composition, family background, education, time spent in detention or jail, childbirth, fertility, relationship history, current employment, employment history, military service, participation in informal economy, child care, child support, child-rearing, neighborhood and housing characteristics, social networks, current health, current and past public aid use, current income, and major life events.

Wilson, William Julius. Urban Poverty and Family Life Survey of Chicago, 1987. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997-11-04. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06258.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
Carnegie Corporation, Chicago Community Trust, Ford Foundation, Institute for Research on Poverty, Joyce Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Spencer Foundation, United States Department of Health and Human Services, William T. Grant Foundation, Woods Charitable Fund
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1987-02-21 -- 1987-10-24
  1. Value labels for this study are being released in a separate file, Part 7, to assist users of SPSS Release 6.1 for Windows. The syntax window in this version of SPSS will read a maximum of 32,767 lines. If all value labels were included in the SPSS data definition file, the number of lines in the file would exceed 32,767 lines.

  2. All references to card-image data in the codebook are no longer applicable.

  3. During generation of the logical record length data file, ICPSR optimized variable widths to the width of the widest value appearing in the data collection for each variable. However, the principal investigator's user-missing data code definitions were retained even when a variable contained no missing data. As a result, when user-missing data values are defined (e.g., by uncommenting the MISSING VALUES section in the SPSS data definition statements) and exceed the optimized variable width, SPSS's display dictionary output will contain asterisks for the missing data codes.

  4. Producer: University of Chicago, Center for the Study of urban Inequality, and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC).


Multistage stratified probability sample design yielding 2,490 observations (1,183 Blacks, 364 whites, 489 Mexican-origin persons, and 454 Puerto Rican-origin persons). Though Black respondents include parents (N = 1,020) and non-parents (N = 163), only parents were selected within non-Black groups. Response rates ranged from 73.8 percent for non-Hispanic whites to 82.5 percent for Black parents.

Non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and persons of Mexican or Puerto Rican ethnicity, aged 18-44, residing in 1986 in Chicago census tracts with 20 percent or more persons living under the poverty line.

personal interviews



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Wilson, William Julius, et al. Urban Poverty and Family Life Survey of Chicago, 1987. ICPSR06258-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06258.v2

1997-11-04 The documentation and frequencies are being released as PDF files, and an SPSS export file is now available. Also, the SAS data definition statements and SPSS data definition statements have been reissued with minor changes, and SPSS value labels are being released in Part 7 due to SPSS for Windows limitations.

1994-10-19 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:

  • Performed consistency checks.