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Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

a PSC Data Resource

Resource Source:U.S. Census Bureau


The main objective of SIPP is to provide accurate and comprehensive information about the income and program participation of individuals and households in the United States, and about the principal determinants of income and program participation. SIPP offers detailed information on cash and noncash income on a subannual basis. The survey also collects data on taxes, assets, liabilities, and participation in government transfer programs. SIPP data allow the government to evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, and local programs.


The survey design of SIPP is a continuous series of national panels, with sample size ranging from approximately 14,000 to 36,700 interviewed households. The duration of each panel ranges from 2 ½ years to 4 years. The SIPP sample is a multistage-stratified sample of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. For the 1984-1993 period, a new panel of households was introduced each year in February. A 4-year 1996 panel was introduced in April 1996; a 3-year panel was started in February 2000 but cancelled after 8 months for budget reasons; and a 3-year panel was introduced in February 2001. The 2 ½ year 2004 SIPP sample was started in February 2004 and is the first SIPP panel to use the 2000 decennial-based redesign of the sample.

The SIPP content is built around a "core" of labor force, program participation, and income questions designed to measure the economic situation of people in the United States. These questions expand the data currently available on the distribution of cash and noncash income and are repeated at each wave of interviewing. The survey uses a 4-month recall period, with approximately the same number of interviews being conducted in each month of the 4-month period for each wave. Interviews are conducted by personal visit and by decentralized telephone.


Data and documentation (Source: SIPP)

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