City data not showing up

Hello, I am looking to download race, household income, renter cost, ownership cost, and tenure for South Gate, CA. When I select only South Gate from the cases dropdown (using CITY variable), I only see data for 1930. Is there something I am doing wrong?

It sounds like you are creating a data extract from IPUMS USA and want to know why the city of South Gate, California is not identified in certain samples. If this is not your question, please follow up with more detail.

Unfortunately, for your application, not all cities can be identified in all years in the CITY variable. The comparability tab of the CITY documentation outlines criteria for identification of cities in this variable; the guidelines for the decennial samples through 1950 have the most detail. Since 1990, the most detailed geographic information available for in public use samples (PUMS data) is the Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA); city identifiers are NOT included in the PUMS files. IPUMS crosswalks these PUMAs onto boundaries of more commonly used geographic units (e.g., counties, cities, metropolitan areas) and identifies meaningful geographic units where possible. If PUMAs overlap perfectly, we can easily identify the area. In other cases, the PUMAs associated with a geographic unit (like a city) omit large portions of the city (called omission errors) or include areas that are not part of the city (comission errors). For CITY and metropolitan areas (METAREA, MET2013), we allow for a 10% sum of match errors (omission plus comission errors). The comparability tab for CITY includes a crosswalk between large places and PUMAs used in the different IPUMS USA samples; you can reference these to learn more about how South Gate maps onto PUMAs in any given sample.

You can also consult the CODES tab of the CITY variable, where you will see that South Gate, California only has an “X” in the 1930 Decennial Census, indicating this code is only included in the data in 1930. You may be interested in the METAREA and MET2013 variables, which identify the Los Angeles Metropolitan area in different time periods. Alternatively, you may be interested in data from IPUMS NHGIS, which provides summary or tabular data with more geographic detail than is available in the microdata samples available via IPUMS USA.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions.