Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections. Current Population Survey (CPS)


Current Population Survey (CPS)
Name: Current Population Survey
Funder(s): The core survey is funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The supplements are also funded by a variety of sponsors including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
General Description: The CPS is primarily designed to supply estimates of employment, unemployment and other characteristics of the general labor force, the population as a whole, and various subgroups of the population. In addition to collection of labor force data, the core funding of the CPS provides for collection of annual data on work experience, income, and migration (the annual March income and demographic supplement), and school enrollment of the population (the October supplement). Other supplements conducted include the voting and registration supplement (November of Congressional and presidential election years), the child support and alimony supplement (April), the fertility and birth expectations supplement (June), and the supplement on the immunization status of the population (most recently collected in September 1995).
Design (cross-sectional vs. longitudinal; periodicity; mode of administration): Cross-sectional. The CPS has been conducted monthly since 1942. The fieldwork is conducted during the calendar week that includes the 19th of the month. In January 1994 a redesigned questionnaire was introduced. This was the most substantial change to the survey since its inception. This new survey includes longer and more detailed questions allowing for more accurate and detailed estimates. The CPS questionnaire is a completely computerized document that is administered by Census Bureau field representatives across the country through both personal and telephone interviews. Households are in the survey for four consecutive months, out for eight, and then return for another four months before leaving the sample permanently.
Population: The CPS is representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the U.S.
Sample Selection and Description: Data are collected for all household members. Employment and earnings information is collected for persons ages 15 and over, but tabulated for all persons 16 and over. One member of each household contacted is the respondent, and this individual must be a knowledgeable household member 15 years or older. The CPS is administered using a scientifically selected sample of some 50,000 occupied households nationwide. The CPS design over-sampled for Hispanics only. (For more detail see Design and Methodology:
Age of Respondent: Respondents are 15 years and older. This primary respondent provides information for each household member. No upper age limit is used, and full-time students are treated the same as non-students. For this report, the age of the adult population is 18 years and older.
Age of Child: 0 to 17 years old
Indicators: Family structure
Contact with nonresident parents
Parental employment by family structure
Family income
Parental voting
Residential mobility

View full report


"chartbook.pdf" (pdf, 1.25Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®