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Sample Person Weight


SAMPWEIGHT is a 9-digit numeric variable.


SAMPWEIGHT is an IPUMS NHIS-constructed variable that represents, with a few exceptions, the random selection of a sample person in the household to complete a supplement survey. (The exceptions to this generalization are the 1983 health insurance supplement and 1993 health insurance, access to care, and family resources supplements, which were asked of all persons in the second half of the year.)

For survey years 1997 forward, SAMPWEIGHT is based on the Final Annual Sample Adult and Sample Child Weights in the original NHIS public use files. This weight should be used with variables taken from the sample adult or sample child supplements for 1997 on (as indicated by the supplement title in the "Source" section toward the top of each variable description).

SAMPWEIGHT also contains the sampling weights for a subset of the pre-1997 supplements, for which the definition of a sample person, and the rules governing the section of sample persons, are less consistent. The universe statements for SAMPWEIGHT document who was included in the supplements requiring use of this weight on a year-by-year basis. SAMPWEIGHT consistently represents the inverse probability of selection into a supplement, adjusted for non-response with additional post-stratification adjustments for age,
race/ethnicity, and sex using the Census Bureau's population control totals.

Users should review the documentation for extracted variables--most notably the "Weights" section toward the top of each variable description--to ascertain which weight is the appropriate choice for a given survey year. See the User Notes on the use of sampling weights for additional information.


SAMPWEIGHT is comparable for all years from 1997 forward, with the stipulation that each year's values are adjusted using contemporaneous Census data. The definition of a sample person is less consistent for the pre-1997 supplements that require use of SAMPWEIGHT. Users should note the universe statements for SAMPWEIGHT to discern whom the related supplements represent in each year.


  • 1974: Sample persons age 17+.
  • 1975-1977: Sample persons age 20+.
  • 1979-1980: Sample persons age 17+ and all persons age 17+ needing help with basic daily functions.
  • 1981: Sample persons under age 18.
  • 1983; 1993: All persons in Qt 3 and Qt 4.
  • 1984: All persons age 65+ and sample person age 55-64.
  • 1985; 1987; 1989; 1990: Sample persons age 18+.
  • 1988; 1991: Sample persons age 18+ and sample persons under age 18.
  • 1992: Sample persons 18+ in Qt 1, Qt 2, and 2 weeks of Qt 3.
  • 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18.


  • 1974-1977, 1979-1981, 1983-1985, 1987-1993, 1997-2018


  • No weights are available for this variable. Please refer to Description for more information.