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This variable is not available for any of the currently selected samples.

Explore how IPUMS created this variable


STEPMOMH indicates for the pre-1950 datasets whether a person's mother, as identified by MOMLOC, was most probably not the person's biological mother. Non-zero values of STEPMOMH explain why it is probable that the person's mother was a step- or adopted mother. A value of 0 indicates no likely stepmother because (1) the mother identified in MOMLOC was probably the biological mother or (2) there is no mother of this person present in the household. Only persons under age 19 are linked to their mothers.

The codes for STEPMOMH are as follows:

  • 0 = Biological mother or no mother of this person present in household.
  • 1 = Age difference between mother and child was less than 12 or greater than 54 years.
  • 2 = Link was established only because the mother was married to father.
  • 3 = Child explicitly identified relationship as stepchild.
  • 5 = Child explicitly identified as adopted.

If more than one value applied to the case, the lowest value was assigned.

See MOMRULEH for a description of the linking process.

Users should note that there are many stepmothers and adopted mothers in the population that cannot be identified with information available in the censuses. Therefore, STEPMOMH will always under-represent their actual number in the population.

Comparability — General

This variable is comparable for all countries, but see the discussion on Family Interrelationships for discussion of these constructed variables.

No constructed family interrelationship variables are available for Canadian censuses of 1852, 1871, and 1881, and the Mecklenburg-Schwerin census of 1819, which contain no information on relationship to household head.

For STEPMOM for United States 1850-1870, refer to variables US1850A_0403, US1850B_0404, US1860A_0404, US1870A_0404.


No universe descriptions are currently available.


  • Canada: 1891, 1901, 1911
  • Denmark: 1787, 1801
  • Iceland: 1703, 1729, 1801, 1901, 1910
  • Norway: 1801, 1865, 1875, 1900, 1910
  • Sweden: 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910
  • United Kingdom: 1851a, 1851b, 1851c, 1861a, 1861b, 1871b, 1881a, 1881b, 1891a, 1891b, 1901a, 1901b, 1911
  • United States: 1880a, 1880b, 1900, 1910