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Sampling Weights For The Housing Sample Of The Consumer Price Index

Eugene F. Brown


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of goods and services across the United States. Currently, the housing sample is used in pricing both residential rent and owners' equivalent rent which together make up the largest component of the CPI, 5.8% and 19.3%, respectively. For the 1998 revision, a new system of using expenditure weights based on average rental values and imputed owners' average rental values at the Census block level will be used for the basic weights of each group of blocks (referred to as segments). In the past, only the number of housing units was used for the weight of each segment. In addition, a new scheme of weighting renters to determine owners' equivalent rent will also be discussed.