CPS - residential location over time


We would like to know whether in the CPS information on the place of residence of the individual, such as the county, is updated throughout the longitudinal sample, i.e. whether we can follow the residential mobility of the individual over time.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Best regards

My apologies for the slow response to your post–this message slipped through the cracks of the IPUMS User Support Team’s inbox.

There are two pieces of information that are relevant to your question. The first is that the panel aspect of CPS is attached to household structures, not the individuals living in them. Accordingly, if an individual or entire family moves to a different location, they will not be followed in the CPS. Instead, the new residents of that dwelling will be included in the CPS. It is also important to note that not all counties are identified in the CPS microdata. About 45% of households are located in counties that are identified in recent years of data; this information is available in the COUNTY variable. You may also be interested in the METAREA variable, which identifies the metropolitan area where the household was located (note that METAREA is also not available for all persons in the CPS).