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Consumer Expenditure Surveys
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Using the State Weights on the Public-Use Microdata

Jimmy Choi

Division of Consumer Expenditure Surveys

The variables included in the state-level weight datasets are: NEWID, STATE, QINTRVYR, QINTRVMO, STRTYEAR, STRTMNTH, PSU, and STATEWGT. To use the state-level weights with the public-use microdata (PUMD), merge the state-level weight dataset and the PUMD file of interest by NEWID and then proceed as usual in investigating weighted sample statistics.

Although the state weights are designed to generate weighted sample statistics at the state-level, they cannot be used to generate weighted sample statistics at any other geographic level. It is not valid to use national weights at the state level since their weights are calibrated to population totals at either the Census Region (prior to 2017) or the Census Division (2017 and later) level, and likewise it is not valid to use state weights at the national level either.

Also, although the new weights are appropriate for estimating weighted sample statistics for the given state, they are not appropriate for estimating their variances or standard errors. The variance estimation technique using the 44 replicate weights on the PUMD’s national-level FMLI and FMLD files is appropriate at the national, regional, and division levels, but it is not appropriate at the state level for various technical reasons. We are in the process of developing a statistically valid variance estimation technique for state-level expenditures, but it is not ready yet.

Table I. Variable Definitions
VariableDescriptionFormat

NEWID

Consumer unit (CU) identification number. Digits 1-7 (CU sequence number, 1 through 9999999) uniquely identify the CU. Digit 8 is the interview number, 1 through 4. It is possible for a CU to skip an interview. For example, a CU could have a 1st, 2nd, and 4th interview but no 3rd interview. Values of NEWID contain a leading zero. Therefore it will appear that the NEWIDs are 7 numbers long, when they are in fact 8 numbers. BLS derived.CHAR(8)

STATE

State identifier (see the Protection of Respondent Confidentiality page for important information regarding suppression and topcoding of the STATE variable)CHAR(2)

QINTRVYR

Interview yearCHAR(4)

QINTRVMO

Interview monthCHAR(2)

STRTYEAR

Diary start date – yearCHAR(4)

STRTMNTH

Diary start date – monthCHAR(2)

PSU

Primary Sampling UnitCHAR(4)

STATEWGT

Calibrated full sample final weight for given state population. BLS derived.NUM(11,3)

*For more information on these variables, see Dictionary for Interview and Diary Surveys (XLSX).

The following tables show how the weights alter simple sample means when applied for the existing state identifiers in the Interview Survey. They are calendar year estimates using all five quarters of data. The state weights change the sample estimates and provide a more accurate value that represents state population expenditures and characteristics. For more information on how to calculate a calendar year estimate, see CE PUMD Getting Started Guide.

Table II. Annual means for selected states, Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey, 2016
Item California Florida New Jersey
Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted

Number of Consumer Units

2,655 14,088,239 1,549 8,492,299 587 3,432,107

Average age of reference person

51.3 50.1 53.1 53.5 54.3 53.9

Average household size

2.6 2.7 2.4 2.4 2.5 2.6

Average annual expenditures

$62,456 $64,481 $49,281 $50,796 $64,874 $63,100

Food

$9,336 $9,612 $7,747 $7,851 $8,727 $8,641

Housing

$22,794 $23,278 $17,401 $17,663 $24,525 $23,617

Transportation

$9,389 $9,853 $8,355 $8,704 $7,180 $7,295

Healthcare

$4,235 $4,294 $4,015 $4,080 $5,272 $5,239

Entertainment

$2,657 $2,766 $2,115 $2,193 $2,196 $2,097

 

Table III. Annual means for selected states, Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey, 2017
Item California Florida New Jersey New York Texas
Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted

Number of Consumer Units

2,503 14,073,427 1,418 8,710,756 505 3,387,724 1,500 7,870,461 1,557 10,300,354

Average age of reference person

51.6 50.2 53.8 53.1 54.4 53.1 53.2 51.7 49.6 48.5

Average household size

2.6 2.7 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.6 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.7

Average annual expenditures

$64,666 $64,771 $48,002 $50,789 $70,532 $74,560 $58,284 $59,685 $54,054 $55,320

Food

$9,335 $9,552 $7,767 $8,100 $9,051 $9,810 $8,576 $8,787 $8,010 $8,220

Housing

$23,674 $23,851 $16,877 $17,810 $26,224 $27,365 $22,027 $22,744 $17,733 $17,995

Transportation

$9,580 $9,658 $8,451 $9,048 $10,130 $10,629 $8,051 $8,205 $10,480 $10,839

Healthcare

$4,179 $4,149 $4,005 $4,104 $5,956 $6,099 $3,934 $3,969 $4,100 $4,170

Entertainment

$2,684 $2,661 $1,947 $2,084 $2,851 $3,133 $2,214 $2,312 $2,205 $2,359

 

Table IV. Annual means for selected states, Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey, 2018
Item California Florida New Jersey New York Texas
Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted Unweighted Weighted

Number of Consumer Units

2,469 14,338,405 1,318 8,951,420 473 3,373,729 1,407 7,917,799 1,400 10,474,073

Average age of reference person

51.1 50.5 53.6 53.2 53.4 51.5 53.0 51.3 50.4 49.0

Average household size

2.6 2.7 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.7 2.3 2.5 2.5 2.7

Average annual expenditures

$64,159 $66,994 $51,481 $53,854 $70,991 $75,010 $61,091 $61,700 $56,053 $57,156

Food

$9,740 $10,228 $8,199 $8,550 $9,793 $10,469 $9,258 $9,477 $8,307 $8,528

Housing

$23,493 $24,359 $16,976 $$17,539 $27,862 $28,838 $22,359 $22,498 $19,131 $19,091

Transportation

$9,747 $10,237 $10,111 $10,553 $8,385 $9,025 $8,592 $8,582 $9,909 $10,518

Healthcare

$4,164 $4,356 $4,099 $4,236 $5,271 $5,319 $4,186 $4,210 $4,711 $4,793

Entertainment

$2,735 $2,821 $2,441 $2,678 $3,004 $2,961 $2,522 $2,539 $2,256 $2,289

 

Last Modified Date: February 20, 2020