follow up question about METAREA

Does it mean that I can use the Metarea variable to aggregate data to metropolitan areas along the time? My focuse is 2005-2016. Is this variable consistent?

I can just aggregate the household variable if Metarea number is the same, right?


As stated in the variable description: METAREA identifies the metropolitan area in which a household was located. Metropolitan areas are counties or groups of counties centering on a substantial urban area. While the Census Bureau’s terminology for metropolitan areas and the classification of specific areas changes over time, the general concept is consistent: a metropolitan area consists of a large population center and adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social interaction.

The specific answer to your question is, it depends on what areas you are looking at and in what samples. While the general concept of a metropolitan area is consistent between 2005 and 2016, the specific areas that are categorized as a metropolitan area changes. The availability of each metropolitan area can be seen within the IPUMS extract system if you (1) select the samples you want - i.e. 2015-2016 ASEC. (2) View the Codes Tab of the METAREA variable. Doing this shows that between 2005 and 2016 some metropolitan areas are identified in the data while others aren’t depending on the year. Therefore, if you simply aggregate METAREA you will not make a consistent calculation.

I hope this helps.