Some variables ( from IPUMS) are coded as both strings and numerical IDs. How can I get STATA to use IDs only?

I am using data from IPUMS. One of the variables I’m using is METAREA. This observations on this variable are coded either as a string (the metro name) or an ID number. In the Stata editor only the string is shown. However, I want it to show only the ID number.

Several methods exist for removing value labels, either permanently or temporarily. The STATA command “label drop metarea_lbl” will permanently remove the value labels from the variable METAREA. Alternatively, you can directly remove the command lines from your .do file that initially assign the value labels to METAREA. To temporarily suppress value labels in STATA when executing a command such as tabulate or list, you can use the option “nolabel”. For example, “tabulate metarea, nolabel” will display the numeric METAREA codes rather than the value labels.

Hope this helps.