Disposition of INCCAPG in previous years


I noticed that the BLS added a new category of income within the ASECs, starting in the year 2019. It’s called “INCCAPG”, and denotes income from capital gains, including income from selling financial assets such as stocks.

My question is: what category of income would have included capital gains in previous years? Interest income? All other?

Thank you, as always, for you making the CPS more accessible and supporting research in the social sciences.


ADJINC (adjusted gross income) includes income from capital gains and is available in the CPS ASEC from 1992 to the present. Tax variables are based on the Census Bureau’s tax model which estimates federal, state, and payroll taxes based on simulated individual tax returns (for more information the CPS Tax Model, see this paper summarizing the post-2004 model - there is an overview of adjusted gross income on page 9 that you might find useful).

In addition, CAPGAIN & CAPLOSS are two variables available in the ASEC from 1992 to 2008 that contain information on pre-tax capital gains and loss accrued by an individual. This forum post contains a discussion of these two variables and why they were discontinued by the CPS.

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, the nature of my research is that I am studying the variable INCTOT, and its components. Would income from capital gains be factored into any of the components of INCTOT, such as INCBUS or INCINT?

The INCTOT variable represents the sum of several different types of income, depending on the survey year. The specific variables for each year are listed on the Comparability tab. For more information regarding the components of income variables, refer to the CPS ASEC Codebooks and the Census Bureau overview of Income variables.

Thank you. I don’t see interest from capital gains entering into INCTOT in any year. Would it be safe to assume that this income is thus included into INCOTHER?

You are correct that income from capital gains are not included in INCTOT in any year. Beginning with the 2019 CPS redesign, INCCAPG was added to capture income from capital gains in the last year; note, however, that it is not included in the total income variable. I am not aware of any explicit documentation on where respondents should report capital gains interest when this is not included as a separate variable (as in INCCAPG). It may be captured in INCOTHER. It may also be captured in INCINT. Note that you will not be able to differentiate between various sources of income, such as capital gains versus other types of interest, when using these variables.