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Earned income

INCEARN is an 8-digit numeric variable.


99999998 = Unknown/missing.
99999999 = NIU (not in universe).

Top codes:

Israel 1972: 16,000+
Canada 1971: 50,000+
Canada 1981: 75,000+
Canada 2001: 200,000+
Mexico 1990: 90,000,000+
Mexico 2000: 999,998+
Mexico 2010-2015: 1,000,000+
Panama 2000: 9,997+
Puerto Rico 1990: 999,999+
Puerto Rico 2000: 310,000+
U.S.A. 1990: State median of values over 284,000
U.S.A. 2000: 310,000+
U.S.A. 2005: 9,999,999+
U.S.A. 2015: 9,999,999+
Venezuela 1971: 2000+

Bottom codes:

Canada 1981-2001: -50,000
Puerto Rico 1990-2010: -9,999
U.S.A. 1990: -19,996
U.S.A. 2000-2005: -9,999
U.S.A. 2010: -9,900
U.S.A. 2015: -10,000


INCEARN reports the person's total income from their labor (from wages, a business, or a farm) in the previous month or year.

Comparability — Index

Puerto Rico
Trinidad and Tobago
United States

Comparability — General

Most samples report data for the previous month. Data for Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States are annual figures.

Amounts are expressed as they were reported at the time of the census in the currency of the respective country. Figures are not adjusted for inflation or devaluation. Some samples report negative earnings.

Total income from all sources is recorded separately for some samples in the variables INCTOT and INCTBR.

The 1971 Venezuela and 1972 Israel data are recodes of broad income categories to their midpoints.

Comparability — Brazil [top]

All Brazilian figures are monthly incomes.

Brazilian currency changed considerably over time. The cruzeiro was devalued at 1000 to 1 in 1967. The cruzado, equal to 1000 cruzeiros, was introduced in 1986. In 1989 the cruzado was devalued, with 1 new cruzado = 1000 old cruzados. In March 1990, the cruzeiro replaced the cruzado, with no change in value. In 1993, the cruzeiro reais replaced the cruzeiro, with 1 cruzeiro reias = 1000 cruzeiros. Finally, in 1994 the currency was changed to the real, where 1 real = 2750 cruzeiros reais.

Comparability — Canada [top]

Data are annual earnings for the previous calendar year in Canadian dollars.

For the 1971 to 2001 samples, the total earned labor income INCEARN is the sum of two components: wage income and income from self-employment. The 1971-1981 samples had different top codes for persons in the Atlantic Provinces. INCEARN imposes the lower top-code on the entire country. If either component variable was top-coded, INCEARN is top-coded. The full detail of the component variables is retained in INCWAGE and INCSELF.

Persons could report negative values for self-employment income in all years. If self-employment income was bottom-coded, INCEARN was assigned the bottom code for that sample.

Data for 2011 come from a single input variable that reports all income received as wages or salaries, net income from unincorporated non-farm business and/or professional practice and net farm self-employment income. Persons could report negative values. Component variables are not available for the 2011 sample.

Comparability — Israel [top]

The data were reported in broad intervals, and INCEARN codes all values to the mid-points. The original intervals are as follows:


Comparability — Mexico [top]

All Mexican figures are monthly income in pesos. In 1960, the reference month is specified in the census question. In other years, individuals reported income for a reference period that matched their pay periods (i.e., weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.). The census bureau converted reported income to monthly income accordingly. In most cases, the implied reference period was the most recent pay period, but this was not explicitly stated in the question.

A large number of cases in 1960 have a value of "1." It may indicate a low income value, but almost certainly does not literally mean 1 peso.

Mexico underwent major devaluations of the currency in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. A "new" peso equivalent to one thousand old pesos was introduced in 1993. Users must account for these changes when making comparisons over time.

Data on income in the 1970 and 1980 Mexican censuses in the variable INCTOT are not comparable to data in the INCEARN variable, since the former includes money from additional sources such as government pensions. Users must therefore exercise extreme caution is using the IPUMS-International data to make generalizations about the income distribution in Mexico over the entire period from 1960 to 2010.

The universe for 1960 is all persons. The universe for the 1990-2015 samples are persons 12 or more years old. However, the 2010 sample restricts the universe further to include those who are economically active and the 2015 sample restricts the universe to include those who are working.

Comparability — Panama [top]

The 2000 sample is top-coded; the 1990 sample is not. The samples report monthly income in Balboas.

Comparability — Puerto Rico [top]

The data are annual incomes in U.S. dollars. Aside from different top and bottom codes, the only comparability issue is the change in reference period from previous calendar year in 1990-2000 to previous 12 months in 2005. Persons could have negative earnings.

Comparability — Trinidad and Tobago [top]

For 2000, the total earned labor income INCEARN is the sum of two components: gross monthly income from paid employment and gross monthly income from self-employment. If either component variable was top-coded, INCEARN is top-coded. The full detail of the component variables is retained in INCWAGE and INCSELF. Income is reported in Trinidad and Tobago dollars.

Comparability — United States [top]

The U.S. figures are annual incomes in dollars. Aside from different top and bottom codes, the only comparability issue is the change in reference period from previous calendar year in 1990-2000 to previous 12 months in 2005, 2010, and 2015. Persons can have negative earnings.

Comparability — Venezuela [top]

The data are monthly incomes in bolivares.

The 1971 data were reported as seven broad income ranges, and have been recoded to the midpoints of the intervals to enhance comparability with later years. The original ranges were as follows:

Less than 250
250 to 499
500 to 749
750 to 999
1000 to 1499
1500 to 1999
2000 or more

In 1981 the data were originally reported as daily, weekly, or monthly income. Daily and weekly incomes have been converted by multiplying daily income by 20 and weekly income by 4.


  • Brazil 1980: Persons age 10+
  • Brazil 1991: Persons age 10+
  • Brazil 2000: Persons age 10+
  • Brazil 2010: Persons age 10+ with a job
  • Canada 1971: Persons age 15+
  • Canada 1981: Persons age 15+, excluding inmates
  • Canada 1991: Persons age 15+
  • Canada 2001: Persons age 15+
  • Canada 2011: Persons age 15+
  • Israel 1972: Persons age 15+ who worked last year
  • Mexico 1960: All persons
  • Mexico 1990: Persons age 12+
  • Mexico 1995: Persons age 12+
  • Mexico 2000: Persons age 12+
  • Mexico 2010: Persons age 12+ who are economically active
  • Mexico 2015: Persons age 12+ who are working
  • Panama 1990: Persons age 10+
  • Panama 2000: Persons age 10+
  • Panama 2010: All persons
  • Puerto Rico 1990: All persons
  • Puerto Rico 2000: All persons
  • Puerto Rico 2005: All persons
  • Puerto Rico 2010: All persons
  • Trinidad and Tobago 2000: Persons age 15+
  • United States 1990: All persons
  • United States 2000: All persons
  • United States 2005: Persons 16+
  • United States 2010: All persons
  • United States 2015: All persons
  • Venezuela 1971: Persons who are employees or manual laborers for the government or private employer
  • Venezuela 1981: Persons age 12+ in the labor force
  • Venezuela 1990: Persons age 12+ in the labor force
  • Venezuela 2001: Persons age 12+ in the labor force


  • Brazil: 1980, 1991, 2000, 2010
  • Canada: 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011
  • Israel: 1972
  • Mexico: 1960, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2015
  • Panama: 1990, 2000, 2010
  • Puerto Rico: 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010
  • Trinidad and Tobago: 2000
  • United States: 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Venezuela: 1971, 1981, 1990, 2001