Guide to Using the 2014 and 2015 Current Population Survey Public Use Files
Originally published in March 2016. Revised August 2016.
The Census Bureau implemented redesigned income and health insurance coverage questions beginning with the 2014 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS) questionnaire. The 2014 CPS asked about income and health insurance coverage in 2013. The income questions were redesigned to reduce nonresponse and update questions on retirement income. The health insurance coverage questions were redesigned to improve the measure of past year coverage, add a point-in-time measure for coverage, collect additional information related to the Affordable Care Act (exchange participation and employer-offers of coverage) and collect information about plan changes during the year. For further information about the redesigned CPS health insurance coverage questions, please see SHADAC Brief #39.
When the Census Bureau implemented the redesigned questions in 2014, the entire sample of 98,000 addresses received the redesigned health insurance coverage questions, while the sample was split for the income questions (68,000 addresses received the traditional questions and 30,000 addresses received the redesigned questions). The entire 2015 sample received the redesigned health insurance coverage and income questions.
This brief provides guidance and SAS code for how to use the 2014 and 2015 public use files. It discusses what comparisons over time are possible, the 2014 research file that the Census Bureau created to combine the two different income question samples, and how to access the new health insurance coverage content that’s currently available.