Can you use PERWT in combination with MULYEAR to obtain weighted data for a single year from a multiyear file?


I’m working on estimating economic security indicators for Northern Virginia. I’m using the 2010-2012 3-year file because I want to make sure I have a big enough sample size for racial breakdowns. However, for basic breakdowns I would like to use 1-year data to have the most recent information. In order to be more efficient I decided to download the 3-year file, and use MULTYEAR == 2012 to separate 2012 data.

Is it posible to use MULTYEAR to restrict the sample to a single year and still have accurate weighting? Or do I need to dowload the 1-year file to have accurate weights.

Thanks so much in advance for your response.

I look forward to hearing back from you


It is not possible to weight a single year in a multi-year file to be nationally representative because the PERWT variable is adjusted in the multi-year file. If you multiply PERWT by 3 in a 3-year file you will get close to the Nationally Representative figures for that year (which you can check using the 1-year file), but it is safest to use the 1-year files for doing analyses on single years.

I hope this helps.