Chinese Census Data: data for unharmonized variable CN1990A_0421 in micro level

Dear IPUMS staff,

I am a PhD student in economics. I am currently working on a project that investigates the impact of one-child policy on the urban-rural educational attainment gap. According to the one child policy, urban (non-agricultural) families can only have one child, while rural (agricultural) families are allowed to have a second child given the first child is a girl. The data that I would like to use is the Chinese census data, and one of the key variables in our analysis is the household type (CN1990A_HHTYAP), which indicates respondent’s household type as agricultural or non-agricultural. This information is asked in the Q6 of the questionaire form:

  1. Status and nature of registration:

1 Residing and registered here
2 Residing here over 1 year, but registered elsewhere
3 Living here less than 1 year absent from reg. place over 1 year
4 Living here with registration unsettled
5 Used to reside here; is now abroad with no registration


1 Agricultural registration
2 Non-agricultural registration

The policy is implemented in 1982, so ideally I would need this variable for both years 1982 and 1990 to do the analysis. As I look into the micro-level data, this variable however is not available for either year, although the availability states this variable exists for the 1990 census data. I am wondering if by any chance the micro-level data on this variable is coded and/or available in your data center, or if you have any information on the avaibility of data for this variable. I would really appreciate your help!


Jiafu Wang

The registration variable is available in unharmonized form in both IPUMS integrated samples: CN1982A_0405 and CN1990A_406 (see “other variables”)

The Household type is not available in the 1982 census sample disseminated by IPUMS or in copies held by others according to the available documentation.

The 2000 sample, which is scheduled for the upcoming release, includes both variables, although the 2000 questionnaire reduced the period from 1 year to 6 months. The percent in category 1 of registration status (person resides in and is registered to reside in the same place) declines from 98.8% in 1982 to 97.2 and 88.3% in 2000. The proportion of farm families declines from 79% in 1990 to 75% in 2000.