Children and parents


Can I link children to their parents (under condition that parents characteristics are fully available) in Census 2000 and ACS 2001+? I know that I can observe children who live in the household, what about children of age 18-22?


Hi May,

Yes, you can link children to their parents in both the 2000 Census and in the ACS, but only if they both appear in the same household. When you go to create your data extract, you want to select the Attach Characteristics option. Doing so will let you attach the mother’s, father’s, or both parents’ records to their child, including any of the variables added to your cart. Children in this case refer to biological, step, or adopted children regardless of age. This video tutorial guides you through the process of attaching characteristics. You can take a look at this user guide if you’re interested in the details of how IPUMS constructed these family interrelationships.

I should say that this method specifically is to link parents to their children. Linking children to their parent records is a bit more involved and requires you to leverage the variables MOMLOC and POPLOC, which provide the person number of each parent in the household. Combing with SAMPLE and SERIAL will make it so each child will have a unique identifier linking them to their parent. After that, you can simply create new variables for each parent representing their child’s characteristics based on the identifier, although you will want to do this separately for each child. I hope that helps!