Differences between ACS and IPUMS with regard to Federal Workers (Civil Servants)?


This is a follow-up to a couple questions regarding federal workers. In the IPUMS ACS sample (and CPS sample) there are MANY more federal workers than reported in ACS-IPUMS (empstatd== 10, classwkrd == 25) than .

Part of the reason is that “federal workers” in the ACS (and CPS) includes “employees of foreign governments, the United Nations, and other international organizations.” But this cannot account for the difference between the 3.6 million (CPS) and 2.6 million (OPM).

Any other suggestions on why these numbers could differ so dramatically?

Thank you very much,




I believe you are addressing the discrepancy between the CLASSWKR variable in IPUMS CPS and CLASSWKR in IPUMS USA. If I’ve misunderstood, please let me know. It seems this discrepancy can be attributed to how each project handles members of the armed forces. As is stated in the Comparability Tab: “Members of the armed forces are subsumed into the general category of federal government employees in the census, beginning in 1960, and in the ACS”. This is not the case in comparable samples within IPUMS CPS.

I hope this helps.