What Type of Data Is CPS?


Angela Bailey

What Type of Data Is CPS?

When it comes to analyzing and understanding data, it is essential to know what type of data you are working with. In the context of data analysis, CPS refers to the Current Population Survey, which is a monthly survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Understanding CPS Data

The CPS collects information on various socio-economic factors from a sample of households in the United States. This data provides valuable insights into the demographic characteristics, labor force participation, employment status, and income levels of the population.

Types of CPS Data:

  • Demographic Data: The CPS collects information about individuals’ age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, education level, and household composition. This demographic data helps researchers analyze trends and patterns across different groups within the population.
  • Labor Force Data: One of the primary purposes of the CPS is to gather information about individuals’ involvement in the labor force. It includes data on employment status (employed or unemployed), occupation, industry, hours worked, and reason for unemployment.

    This data is crucial for analyzing economic trends and studying the dynamics of workforce participation.

  • Income Data: The CPS collects information on individuals’ income levels from various sources such as wages, salaries, self-employment earnings, government assistance programs (like Social Security), and other forms of income. Analyzing income data helps researchers understand income inequality and economic disparities among different groups in society.
  • Poverty Data: The CPS measures poverty by comparing household income against a set poverty threshold determined by family size and composition. It provides valuable insights into the prevalence and characteristics of poverty in the United States.

Uses of CPS Data

CPS data is widely used by policymakers, researchers, economists, sociologists, and other professionals to gain insights into various social and economic aspects of the population. Some common uses of CPS data include:

  • Monitoring labor market trends and analyzing changes in employment patterns over time.
  • Evaluating the impact of government policies on employment, income distribution, and poverty rates.
  • Studying demographic changes and analyzing disparities across different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
  • Assessing educational attainment levels and their relationship to employment opportunities.
  • Understanding income inequality and its implications for social welfare programs.


The CPS provides a rich source of data that allows us to gain valuable insights into the socio-economic dynamics of the U. population. By understanding what type of data CPS collects and how it can be used, researchers can effectively analyze trends, identify patterns, and make informed decisions based on this information.

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