CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY
The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect data on employment status, income, and health insurance, among other topics and is designed to be representative both nationally and at the state level. The CPS collects health insurance coverage data through its annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).
The CPS health insurance estimates are available through summary tabulations, downloads of microdata, and restricted-use files.
CPS Summary Tabulations
SHADAC's State Health Compare offers the opportunity to run single year, 2-year or 3-year estimates from calendar year 1987 to present. State Health Compare is a user-friendly tool for obtaining state-level estimates related to health and healthcare.
CPS ASEC microdata are available for download to conduct your own analyses. Microdata are the original data records for each observation, although de-identified according to strict Census Bureau procedures. These data files tend to be very large, in raw format (usually ASCII flat file), and require analytic software to process files.
Federal data sources are usually available ready to load into SAS, Stata, or SPSS. If you use something else, convert it with StatTransfer software (available through Stata).
Where to download data:
SHADAC recommends accessing public use microdata from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS).
Comprehensive documentation on the CPS-ASEC is available on the Census Bureau's health insurance web page.
SHADAC has a variety of recent resources and links, below, that focus on state-level estimation of health insurance coverage.
- Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count the Uninsured: 2020
- An Annual Conversation with the U.S. Census Bureau – 2019 Health insurance coverage data Webinar
- Archived list CPS resources