Metropolitan status in 2014 ATUS


I see that the 2014 ATUS-X does not contain values for METRO, MSASIZE, or METAREA. I am most interested in METAREA, to normalize some analyses that I am performing across the country. There isn’t any mention in the variable descriptions as to why the variables aren’t included in 2014. Will these variables not be available going forward?


Cities cannot be identified in CPS data; however it is possible to identify certain large metropolitan areas with the variable METAREA. If you are using a statistical package like Stata, you can find hourly wage information for New York City with syntax similar to “tabulate hourwage if metarea == 5606.” If you are using the online analysis tool, enter hourwage into “row,” and filter by metarea(5606) and your years of interest.

Something to note is that HOURWAGE is one of the variables in the Outgoing Rotation Group/Earner Study. Participants of this study are those who meet all of the following criteria: AGE=15+, EMPSTAT=10-12, CLASSWKR=20-28, and MISH=4 or 8. This results in greatly reduced sample sizes, especially when the scope is limited to a particular metropolitan area, so I suggest checking raw frequencies before adding the EARNWTweight.


We plan to release these metro area variables for the 2014 ATUS sample next week.

Hope this helps.