rebubmissions: different record length?

I am having to resubmit a bunch of my ACS and Census extracts.

It seems that for some reason most of the extracts now have a different record length (a bit longer) than they did the first time I created them.

Does this indicate a problem, or do you know why this might be occurring?

So far this is definitely the case for 1980, 2014 and 2015 ACS extracts.

(I’m also having some other problems with some of the syntax files that worked fine the first time i downloaded these extracts, so trying to figure out if there is something else going on.)


IPUMS is always improving the data available online. This means that when extracts are resubmitted, they will recreate the extract using the most up-to-date version of the data. One recent fix may be causing the specific observation you’ve noted here. In May of 2017, the IPUMS family interrelationship variables were revamped. (See more details about this update here.) This seems to explain both why you are seeing some different record lengths and why your old syntax files are no longer running properly. Due to the periodic fixes to the data, we recommend that you use the syntax files that correspond to the extract file number.

I hope this helps.