I am using the ACS 2012 5 year data set and am getting negative numbers for HHINCOME. I couldn’t find any reason as to why this occurs and was wondering if anyone else had this problem or how to address it?
A number of income variables allow respondents to give negative numbers, such as INCBUS00 which asks for, “net pre-income-tax self-employment income from a business, professional practice, or farm, for the previous calendar year.” This variable allows for negative values to represent businesses or farms that spent more money than they earned. Some of the more general income variables (such as HHINCOME, and INCTOT) are really only totaled values of these more specific income sources so they can also have negative numbers if losses over the previous year are greater than gains.
I hope this helps.