Using event files in MEPS

I’m new to using MEPS, and I’m interested in counting events of a certain type within a year for individuals. When I initially tried to do this, the number of events per person was higher than I expected. Since people are in the panel for 2 years, if I don’t do anything to restrict to the year in which events are counted, is it possible that I was actually getting the number of events over 2 years? Would the way to restrict be to use the EVENTYR date variable to only look one year at a time?

That is right. If you are counting all events for an individual, then you will be getting two years of events. Summing the number of events separately for each year using EVENTYR will get you the correct annual counts. You can read more about the structure of IPUMS MEPS hierarchical files at this page, and more about the event records at this page.