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Source of livelihood

Codes and Frequencies

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Explore how IPUMS created this variable


      class Incsrc : public Editor {

  Incsrc(VarPointer varInfo) : Editor(varInfo) {}
  void edit() {

    long a = getRecoded();
    switch (dataSet) {
    case dataset_id::cn2000a: {
      if (CN2000A_0431() == 9 && CN2000A_0425() == 1 || CN2000A_0425() == 2)
        a = 1;
    } break;




INCSRC indicates the respondent's primary source of livelihood, whether from work, benefits, or various other categories.

Comparability — Index


Comparability — General

The categorization of income source varies across countries and samples. We have attempted to group categories by general themes (work, ownership, pension, benefit, etc.) Where categories connote the same general meaning, they receive the same code (e.g., work, pension, unemployment, etc.). However, different countries are likely to classify work and benefits in different ways. Users should consult sample-specific census instructions before making comparisons across samples.

The "social support" category includes support from public and private (charity) sources. The "household support" category indicates that the respondent is supported by informal (non-organizational) sources, which may be from people inside the household in many cases, as in the case of dependent children.

Comparability — Armenia [top]

Armenian respondents could also give a secondary source of livelihood, reported in the unharmonized source variables for the sample. Some detail about whether a person worked from home or an outside location and whether social support comes from state or private origins is lost in this integrated variable. Users who require such differentiation should consult the unharmonized source variable.

The 2011 sample identifies persons receiving remittances from abroad.

Comparability — China [top]

In 2000, the question was asked to persons age 15 + who did not work last week (for reasons other than training, vacation, or seasonal holidays). Persons who worked are included in the "Work" category for INCSRC. Children under age 15 are categorized as dependents. The original data combine persons who were receiving disability benefits, unemployment benefits, benefits as a "Five Guarantees" household, and other social benefits into a single category. These persons are categorized as "Other social support" in INCSRC.

Comparability — Germany [top]

The variable is generally comparable for East Germany samples (1971, 1981), and separately in West Germany samples (1970, 1987). There are slight differences in response categories. In East Germany, mixed source of income were recorded. In 1971, "pension" income combined with other categories are all coded to mixed sources. In 1981, mixed sources tend to be employment income combined with some type of pension income.

Comparability — Poland [top]

Both samples provide detailed information about main sources of livelihood, distinguishing among various categories of work income, pension income, and social support. For more information and descriptions of each category, see the unharmonized source variables and corresponding questionnaire text.

In 2011, the question was only asked to persons aged 15 and older. Children under age 15 are categorized as dependents in INCSRC.

Comparability — Portugal [top]

The variable is largely comparable across Portuguese samples. The 2001 sample includes the category "guaranteed minimal income", which is a Portugal-specific assistance program classified as social support in INCSRC. The 2011 census did not ask children under age 15 the income source question; they are included in the "household support" category in INCSRC for consistency with other samples.

Comparability — Ukraine [top]

The unharmonized source variable distinguishes between more detailed categories of work as a source of livelihood.


  • Armenia 2001: All persons
  • Armenia 2011: All persons
  • Belarus 2009: All persons
  • China 2000: All persons
  • Germany 1970: All persons
  • Germany 1971: All persons
  • Germany 1981: All persons
  • Germany 1987: All persons
  • Greece 2011: All persons
  • Kyrgyzstan 2009: All persons
  • Poland 2002: All persons
  • Poland 2011: All persons
  • Portugal 1981: All persons
  • Portugal 1991: All persons
  • Portugal 2001: All persons
  • Portugal 2011: All persons
  • Ukraine 2001: All persons


  • Armenia: 2001, 2011
  • Belarus: 2009
  • China: 2000
  • Germany: 1970, 1971, 1981, 1987
  • Greece: 2011
  • Kyrgyzstan: 2009
  • Poland: 2002, 2011
  • Portugal: 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011
  • Ukraine: 2001