Income calculation


I have noticed that income-related variables (e.g. hhinc) are bracketed on the census website, whereas are expressed as continuous when downloaded from Ipums. In case I am not missing anything here, would it be possible to know how the continuous variables are calculated on ipums?

The census website will often present summary tables using bracketed income, such as these current population survey data tables, since they are easy to interpret. However, continuous household income is available in the CPS ASEC microdata. You can find the original CPS ASEC codebooks that list all variables available in the public use microdata sample (PUMS). In this case, the 2022 codebook notes that HHINC is bracketed and that HHINC is a recode of the continuous variable HTOTVAL. IPUMS uses HTOTVAL to create HHINCOME. IPUMS CPS will almost never edit original census data and if any such edits are made they will be mentioned in either the variable’s codes, description, or comparability tab.