Replicate family structure estimates

We are trying to replicate family structure estimates found in table C3 at https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/families/cps-2019.html.

With the 2019 CPS data, we created three family structure variables: two parents, one parent and no parent. Then we created a subpop of those who completed the ASEC, and excluded group quarters and entries that are either the reference person or the spouse (as indicated below the table). Our estimates for total N match when we restrict the age to under 3, and the published estimate is within the confidence interval for two parent and one parent. However, we are underestimating the no parent number.

Does anyone have any insight into how to replicate the published family structure estimates? Thank you!

Just to clarify: Are you using the weight variables?

Yes, we are using asecwt because the published estimates use ASEC data only.

I noticed this note in table C2 for children living with neither parent: “Excludes children who are also in a subfamily.”

The numbers in table C2 line up by age with the numbers in table C3, so I assume this note should also apply to table C3. I’m not entirely sure how to interpret that, but it might help get you closer. The IPUMS variable FTYPE identifies individuals in subfamilies.

I have an update to this question - we have been also been trying to replicate some census estimates using a similar process with IPUMS ACS data, and similarly finding that we are not able to replicate population estimates. Could this be due to differences between census and IPUMS?

It is possible that the discrepancy is due to differences between the internal ACS data and the public-use sample, which are documented here. Because of these differences, we generally do not expect estimates from the ACS microdata to exactly replicate the official Census Bureau publications. But the numbers should be close, so if you are seeing large discrepancies, there is probably something else going on. Note that this applies to public use microdata (PUMS) files obtained either direct from the Census Bureau or from IPUMS USA, which are derived from the Census Bureau PUMS files.