I am trying to understand what the PERWT data means. I downloaded my data as a .dta into STA. The code book says it should be a 6 digit number, but all of the codes are 3 or less digits. Can anyone help?
I am assuming you are using IPUMS USA, so my answer is in reference to the IPUMS USA dataset. Please let me know if you are using data from a different IPUMS data collection.
While PERWT can be up to 6 digits wide, the values of PERWT are not always 6 digits wide. Depending on how you read it into your statistical software package, we also already apply the decimals to the values of the variable for you. So the values you are seeing in your dataset are correct and already adjusted for the two implied decimal places. I see the similar values of PERWT when opening an extract into Stata as well, and I confirmed that these are the correct values in the original data.
I hope this helps clear things up. You can use PERWT as you see it in your data.