ATUS Weights to generate person-level counts by Year

Hello, I am interested in estimating the number of people who spend any time providing care to a household member by year for the years 2015-2021. Based on the documentation, my understanding is I should be using the BWT variable, but it is not available for all the years I am interested in examining.

Is there another weight I could use?

Thanks so much for your time and help!

As you noted, BWT would be the proper weight to use for person-level analyses that do not involve time use variables, but it is not available for all years. For most person-level analyses over time (both with and without time use variables), IPUMS recommends using WT06, which is available from 2003-2019, and 2021. Within a year, WT06 sums to the number of person-days in the country in a quarter. In order to get estimates of person counts using these weights, you’ll need to divide them by the number of days in your time period of interest. If you are making annual estimates, you should divide the weights by 365 (or 366in a leap year). If you are doing a quarterly analysis, here are the numbers to divide by:

First quarter, Q1: 1 January – 31 March (90 days or 91 days in leap years)

Second quarter, Q2: 1 April – 30 June (91 days)

Third quarter, Q3: 1 July – 30 September (92 days)

Fourth quarter, Q4: 1 October – 31 December (92 days)

For 2020, there are different weights (WT20), because the survey was paused during the beginning of the COVID pandemic. For that year, you’ll need to subtract the excluded days (Mar 18 - May 9) from the total days in the year or quarter, before dividing the weight.

For more information on weights, please consult the ATUS User’s Manual, chapter 7.

Since you’re interested in caregiving, you might also find this set of exercises useful, these are from this past week’s pre-conference workshop for the data-intensive research conference.

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