Mother with/without children variable

I am wondering how to identify mothers aged 20 to 50 years old with children compared to single women within the same age range without children in CPS data from 2022 onwards.

Is the ‘MOMLOC’ variable used to identify mothers?

Also, it would be great to obtain information/variable on the ages of the children (adopted/biological) associated with each mother, if possible!

MOMLOC is a variable constructed by IPUMS that reports the PERNUM value of the respondent’s probable mother (including biological, step, and adopted) within the household. This will only allow for identification of mothers who reside in the same household as their children; MOMLOC is unable to distinguish between mothers with children whose usual residence is outside the housing unit and non-mothers (both are assigned MOMLOC = 0). Since sampling occurs by household, no information is available on children living outside the home.

If this is not a significant issue for you, then I also recommend looking into NCHILD (number of own children in household), YNGCH (age of youngest own child in household), and other family interrelationship variables. These may be easier to use since they report the data on the mother’s record without needing to link directly to the child’s record (as with MOMLOC). However, if you want to obtain information such as the ages of all children, you will still need to use MOMLOC to link all of these records. You may also try using the Attach Characteristics tool, which allows you to attach a characteristic (from the set of variables in your data cart) of a person’s mother, father, spouse, or household head as a new variable on the person’s record. While this links information on the mother to the child’s record (the opposite of what you’re looking to do), it may still be a helpful tool for your analysis.