Why is PWCOUNTY not available in 2022 5-year data?

Why is PWCOUNTY not available in 2022 5-year data? I need to use this coupled with the state variable to identify people working in NYC.

As the description tab for PWCOUNTY notes, the source PUMS files that IPUMS harmonizes do not directly identify place-of-work counties. IPUMS instead identifies place-of-work counties, where possible, from Place-of-Work Public Microdata Areas (PWPUMA00) that are reported in the original data files. Specifically,

PWCOUNTY identifies a county if and only if:

  • it was coterminous with a single Place-of-Work PUMA; or
  • it contained multiple Place-of-Work PUMAs, none of which extended into other counties.

2022 is the first ACS sample to use updated PUMA, MIGPUMA1, and PWPUMA00 boundaries from the 2020 Census. As a result, place-of-work counties have to be reidentified in the data. Moreover, the 5-year file requires special handling due to it using two different census definitions (2010 and 2020) of PWPUMA00 across the five years in the sample. As noted in the revision history, we are currently in the process of integrating geography variables, such as PWCOUNTY, that depend on these boundaries.

In the meantime, you may recreate PWCOUNTY for 2022 yourself using PWPUMA00 by following the identification rule stated above. This 2020 PWPUMA00 definitions page provides a relationship file between Place-of-Work PUMAs and counties. Since each Place-of-Work PUMA corresponds exactly to one or more 2022 counties, you can use the file to identify PWCOUNTY for respondents who reside in a county that is coterminous with a single Place-of-Work PUMA. When incorporating PWCOUNTY into the 2022 5-year ACS file, you should note that some counties will no longer be identified, while other new counties may appear in the data.

Thank you for providing clarity! However, upon reviewing the data, it appears that PWPUMA00 is not available in the 2022 5-year sample and is only available in the 1-year 2022 sample. Could this be due to the ongoing integration of geographic boundaries you mentioned earlier? Additionally, is there an estimated timeline for when PWPUMA00 or PWCOUNTY will be available in the 2022 5-year sample?

That is correct. Due to ongoing work harmonizing and integrating of geographic boundaries based on the newly introduced 2020 PUMAs, PWPUMA00 is currently only available in the 2022 1-year ACS file and PWCOUNTY is not available in either of the 2022 ACS files. We are prioritizing a release of standard geographic identifiers for the 2022 ACS files, however there are plans to release Place-of-Work data for both of the 2022 samples in the future. I recommend periodically reviewing the revision history to see whether this new data has been added to the database.

Thank you! Could you provide a more specific timeline (e.g. late spring or summer) for when we might expect the new data to be available? Having this information would greatly assist us in planning our project more effectively.

Standard geography variables (e.g. PUMA, COUNTYFIP, and MET2013) were released by IPUMS USA earlier this week (see the revision history note for further details). The revision history entry also notes that PWPUMA00 also references two different sets of PUMAs in the 5-year file. IPUMS has not yet updated PWPUMA00 in the 5-year file, which has delayed updates to PWCOUNTY, PWMET13, PWMET13ERR, and PWTYPE. We expect to be able to provide these variables before the release of the 2023 1-year ACS file in the fall, but I am unable to provide a more concrete timeline.

If you need the data sooner, you might try identifying PWCOUNTY for 2022 yourself using PWPUMA00 from the 2022 1-year file with the information and links I shared previously. By using the linked composition file and restricting it to unique combinations of state and PWPUMA00, you will have a list of Place-of-Work PUMAs that correspond to a single county. Respondents working in one of these Place-of-Work PUMAs in 2022 therefore can be identified as working in the corresponding county.