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Person number of spouse (reported)

Codes and Frequencies

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For married persons whose spouse is present in the household, SPOUSEPNUM reports the person number (PX) of the person's spouse.

SPOUSEPNUM corresponds with the original NHIS person number PX. In some cases, this may differ from the IPUMS NHIS-generated variable PERNUM.

Users may be interested in using the IPUMS NHIS family interrelationship variables instead of SPOUSEPNUM. These variables allow users to identify a person's (probable) coresident spouse/partner and/or parent(s), and make it easy to include characteristics about these family members as new variables in their data extracts. When using the IPUMS family interrelationship variables, not only can users attach information about a parent's education (which is offered by NCHS through the IPUMS NHIS variable MOMED and DADED), but can also attach other characteristics of interest, such as spouse's race, labor force status, and health insurance coverage, as new variables. The IPUMS variable SPLOC reports the location number of the person's coresident spouse. Additionally, SPLOC is available for all years, while SPOUSENUM is only available for 2006-forward. SPOUSEPNUM and SPLOC overwhelmingly agree for years when SPOUSEPNUM is available.


Users should note that SPLOC is constructed by IPUMS NHIS and is based on the IPUMS NHIS constructed person number PERNUM. Researchers should use PERNUM with YEAR, SERIAL, and FAMNUMR to uniquely identify household members.

SPOUSEPNUM is constructed by the NCHS and must be used with the corresponding person number PX. Researchers should use PX with YEAR, HHX, and FMX to uniquely identify household members.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 2006-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Married persons with spouse present in household.


  • 2006-2018