Reproducing Census PINC tables with CPS ASEC earnings data

I have a question about comparability between Census released PINC tables and CPS ASEC from IPUMS (2023). I am trying to reproduce the results shown in the PINC tables - salary and earnings by sex, race/ethnicity, and age and my results are slightly off from the PINC tables. I’m using earnings for Hispanic men and women over 15 years of age for comparison.

Looking at median earnings for Hispanic men and women working full-time (50 weeks or more) - they show Hispanic men’s median earnings are $47,420 and Hispanic women’s median earnings are $41,140.

The results I am getting using CPS ASEC for Hispanic men’s median earnings is $48,000 and Hispanic women’s earnings as $40,000. So, there is about a $580(+) and $1,140(-) difference between my results and theirs.

Here is the code I am using to generate these results in Stata:

(for men) sum incwage if sex==1 & hispan>0 & age>14 & wkswork1>49 & fullpart==1 & workly==2 & incwage>0 [aw=asecwt], d

Here is the table of results:

Screenshot 2024-03-21 at 9.27.46 AM

Does anyone know why my results differ slightly? I noticed Census calculates median earnings based on $2,500 increments - would this be where the results would differ? I would appreciate any insight, and if I need to provide more info let me know. Thank you very much!

CPS microdata users often find that the results of their analysis differ slightly from published data tables. This discrepancy can be due to a variety of factors. In your case, the calculation of the median using $2,500 increments will affect these estimates. It can also be due to filtering using data that is not publicly available. For example, the estimated total number of Hispanic men 15+ according to the table you link is 24,380,000. However, when using the public CPS microdata and filtering by AGE and HISPAN, the corresponding value is 24,375,433. These values are very similar (with a difference of .02%) and one possibility is that the difference is due to the “People 15 years old and over as of March of the following year” criteria stated at the top of the page. Since the Census Bureau records respondents’ birthdays, but only releases their age in years, it may be that some respondents who are coded as being 15 in the 2023 ASEC were not 15 in March 2023. This can happen since data for the CPS ASEC is collected from February-April.

I also want to point out that the discrepancy between the median incomes that you are seeing for men is within the standard error estimate provided at the bottom of the table that you link to ($706). I suspect that if you were to recalculate the median income using the $2,500 increments that the table uses that you would also find that the median income estimate for women using IPUMS CPS data is also within the margin of error.

While there are benefits to using individual-level microdata, users should consider how important these types of deviations from official estimates are for their research.