The IPUMS CPS variable description for FAMINC notes:
FAMINC reports annual family income, in categories, of all persons related to the head of household/householder. For individuals who are not part of the householder’s family, FAMINC reports the value for the householder’s family. This measure includes the income of all members of the household who are 15 years of age or older…At the end of the monthly labor force survey, respondents are asked to choose the category that represents the total combined income during the past 12 months for all members of the householder’s family.
Meanwhile, the description for HHINCOME notes:
HHINCOME reports the total money income during the previous calendar year of all adult household members. The amount should equal the sum of all household members’ individual incomes as recorded in the IPUMS-CPS variable INCTOT. The persons included were those present in the household at the time of the survey. People who lived in the household during the previous year but were not still living there at the time of the survey are not included; household members who lived elsewhere during the previous year but had joined the household at the time of the survey are included.
Clear differences between these descriptions are:
- FAMINC is the respondent’s response while HHINCOME is generated from component responses.
- HHINCOME includes only “adult” (undefined) household members while FAMINC includes those 15+
- Unlike HHINCOME, FAMINC may exclude (include) income of family members (not) present in the household at the time of the survey.
- HHINCOME is a continuous measure while FAMINC is a categorical response
However, I am finding the bolded text for FAMINC. While FAMINC is supposed to capture family income, the text clearly states it reflects income of members of the household aged 15 and over. Since not all household members need to be family members, it’s not clear what FAMINC is actually measuring given the first and third sentences of the FAMINC description seem in conflict.
Can someone clarify what is actually reflected in FAMINC and how it relates to households versus families? I have read the previous posts on here, but none address the point that the description explicitly states the family income variable includes incomes of all household members. If the text instead stated it included all members of the family 15+, it would make more sense.
Similarly, should FAMINC be identical within all observations for a given household identifier (i.e. the concatenation of YEAR and SERIAL) or only within a given family identifier (i.e. the concatenation of YEAR, SERIAL, and FAMID)?