FOODSTMP not available at METAREA after 2011 in IPUM but available via in ACS

I am using the 1-year ACS microdata to create cross tabulations at the METAREA level. Some variables however do not allow cross tabulation with the METAREA. For example, FOODSTMP and CIHISPEED won’t cross tabulate with the METAREA after 2011 and for all years at all, respectively.

If you go to the however, you will see these variables made available at the METAREA level. I understand PUMA is the smallest geographical unit for the mentioned two variable in the microdata, but since they are tabulated at the METAREA via, I am not clear on what’s happening in the microdata. Is this because the Census decided to withhold the county level data for FOODSTMP and CIHISPEED from 2012 onward?

Any insight would be really appreciated.


As noted in the METAREA documentation, this variable is not available after 2011. Researchers interested in metro codes for these samples should use MET2013 instead. I checked, and was able to generate cross-tabulations of MET2013 with both FOODSTMP and CIHISPEED.

I will also note that, depending on where you found the relevant information from, it may use summary data files rather than the individual-level microdata files that are available in IPUMS USA. Not all counties are identified in the public use microdata. If you are interested in summary file data from IPUMS, you can get these from IPUMS NHGIS.