Recreating PWTYPE for 1990


I am looking to reconstruct PWTYPE for 1990. This is the METRO variable applied to PW PUMAs that indicate in-metro principle city, in-metro mixed principle city, in metro not principle city, mixed metro or not.

Can this be reconstructed for 1990 using PWCITY and PWMETRO? Or does PWCITY not translate to Principle Cities?

Thank you,

Update here: PWCITY is not principle cities but might be used to crosswalk with principle cities.

PWTYPE is available for the 1990 1% metro sample (see the availability tab). I assume that you are trying to reconstruct the variable for the 5% state sample. If so, you should be aware that while PUMAs and PWPUMAs (used to identify metro/city that respondents work in) in the metro sample generally follow the boundaries of central cities and metropolitan areas, in the state sample they generally follow the boundaries of counties or census-defined “places”. If a PWPUMA lies only partially within a metropolitan area or central/principal city, then the PWMETRO/PWCITY cannot be identified since it is unclear whether the respondent worked in an area inside or outside of the metro/city. Due to the differences in PUMA boundaries in the state sample, the populations of many metro areas are only partially identified in this sample, and in many cases, the unidentified portion is considerably large. Moreover, the identified portion of a partly identified metro area will often skew toward core populations and omit outlying communities. For these reasons, PWTYPE is not available for the 1990 state sample.

You may still try to create PWTYPE yourself. PWMETRO, for respondents who worked in a PWPUMA whose boundaries were fully within a metropolitan area, will identify the metropolitan area that they worked in. As mentioned above, this will omit respondents who worked in a metropolitan area, but cannot be identified as such due to working in a PWPUMA that included any area outside of the metro. To determine whether the respondent worked in the principal city of the metro, you will need to use data from PWCITY.

  • Respondents who are identified as working in the city that is the principal city of the metropolitan area will be equivalent to PWTYPE = 1.
  • Those who are identified as working in a city that is not the principal city of their metro area are equivalent to PWTYPE = 4.
  • Those who are identified as working in a metro area, but are coded with PWCITY = 0000, are equivalent to PWTYPE = 5.
  • The remaining respondents with PWMETRO and PWCITY = 0000 are either those who worked in a PWPUMA completely outside any metro area (PWTYPE = 7) or those who worked in a PWPUMA that straddles a metro area (PWTYPE = 9). Separating these two groups requires closer inspection of PWPUMA and METAREA boundaries. For this, you can use the 1990 state sample PUMA GIS files noting that 1990 PWPUMAs have a very simple relationship to 1990 PUMAs such that the first 3 digits of the 5-digit PUMA code correspond to a single PWPUMA. You can find the 1990 metropolitan area GIS files on IPUMS NHGIS by going to the Data Finder tool and adding METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA/CONSOLIDATED METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA [1990-2000] as your geographic level filter. The GIS files tab will show the 1990 and 2000 year files available for download.