My da|ra Login

Detailed view

metadata language: English

Consumer Price Index, 1913-1992

Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data
  • United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
consumer behavior; consumer expenditures; consumer price index; consumers; cost of living; disposable income; food costs; fuel costs; health care costs; urban areas
  • Abstract

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures over time the prices of goods and services in major expenditure categories typically purchased by urban consumers. The expenditure categories include food, housing, apparel, transportation, and medical care. Essentially, the Index measures consumer purchasing power by comparing the cost of a fixed set of goods and services (called a market basket) in a specific month relative to the cost of the same market basket in an earlier reference period, designated as the base period. The CPI is calculated for two population groups: urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) and all urban consumers (CPI-U). The CPI-W population includes those urban families with clerical workers, sales workers, craft workers, operatives, service workers, or laborers in the family unit and is representative of the prices paid by about 40 percent of the United States population. The CPI-U population consists of all urban households (including professional and salaried workers, part-time workers, the self-employed, the unemployed, and retired persons) and is representative of the prices paid by about 80 percent of the United States population. Both populations specifically exclude persons in the military, in institutions, and all persons living outside of urban areas (such as farm families). National indexes for both populations are available for about 350 consumer items and groups of items. In addition, over 100 of the indexes have been adjusted for seasonality. The indexes are monthly with some beginning in 1913. Area indexes are available for 27 urban places. For each area, indexes are presented for about 65 items and groups. The area indexes are produced monthly for 5 areas, bimonthly for 10 areas, and semiannually for 12 urban areas. Regional indexes are available for four regions with about 95 items and groups per region. Beginning with January 1987, regional indexes are monthly, with some beginning as early as 1966. City-size indexes are available for four size classes with about 95 items and groups per class. Beginning with January 1987, these indexes are monthly and most begin in 1977. Regional and city-size indexes are available cross-classified by region and city-size class. For each of the 13 cross-classifications, about 60 items and groups are available. Beginning with January 1987, these indexes are monthly and most begin in 1977. Each index record includes a series identification code that specifies the sample (either all urban consumers or urban wage earners and clerical workers), seasonality (either seasonally adjusted or unadjusted), periodicity (either semiannual or regular), geographic area, index base period, and item number of the index.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1913 / 1992
    Time period: 1913--1992
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All goods and services purchased by urban consumers in the United States.
The CPI is calculated from data collected in 94 urban areas or Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) selected on the basis of criteria that include region, population size, percent of population increase from 1960 to 1970, and major industry. The market basket of items that is priced in the CPI is selected in two phases. In the first phase, item categories are selected at the Entry Level Item (ELI) level, a relatively broadly-defined grouping of items (e.g., new cars or women's active sportswear). The sample of item categories is derived from detailed expenditure information provided by households (either families or single persons) in the CPI population that has been collected by the Bureau of the Census using the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES). The probability of selection of an ELI is made proportional to the expenditure reported for that ELI in the CES. In the second phase, specific item selection is made from within the designated ELI categories using multistage probability sampling procedures.
Collection Mode
  • These data contain two types of records: "T", which are Index Title records, and "M", which are data records. There is one "M" record for each year covered in the index described in the preceding "T" record. Each "M" record contains 24 variables.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8166 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08166.v1
  • National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2007. With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2007.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Raper, Kellie Curry, Wanzala, Maria Namakhoye, Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr.. Food expenditures and household demographic composition in the US: A demand systems approach. Applied Economics.34, (8), 981-992.2002.
    • ID: 10.1080/0003684011006195 9 (DOI)
  • Fan, Jessie X., Lewis, Joan Koonce. Budget allocation patterns of African Americans. Journal of Consumer Affairs.33, (1), 134-164.1999.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.1999.tb00764.x (DOI)
  • Abraham, Katharine G., Greenlees, John S., Moulton, Brent R.. Working to improve the Consumer Price Index. Journal of Economic Perspectives.12, (1), 27-36.1998.
    • ID: 10.1257/jep.12.1.27 (DOI)
  • Abraham, Katharine G., Spletzer, James R., Stewart, Jay C.. Divergent trends in alternative real wage series. Labor Statistics Measurement Issues.Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1998.
  • Boskin, Michael J., Dulberger, Ellen R., Gordon, Robert J., Grilliches, Zvi, Jorgenson, Dale W.. Consumer prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the cost of living. Journal of Economic Perspectives.12, (1), 3-26.1998.
    • ID: 10.1257/jep.12.1.3 (DOI)
  • Deaton, Angus. Getting prices right: What should be done?. Journal of Economic Perspectives.12, (1), 37-46.1998.
    • ID: 10.1257/jep.12.1.37 (DOI)
  • Dutton, Marilyn Miller. Are the CPI and WPI appropriate measures to use for testing the PPP hypothesis. Studies in Economics and Finance.18, (2), 62-99.1998.
  • Fan, Jessie X.. Ethnic differences in household expenditure patterns. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.26, (4), 371-400.1998.
    • ID: 10.1177/1077727X980264001 (DOI)
  • Fan, Jessie X., Lee, Jinkook, Hanna, Sherman. Are apparel trade restrictions regressive?. Journal of Consumer Affairs.32, (2), 252-274.1998.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.1998.tb00409.x (DOI)
  • Mitchell, Daniel. Calculating the price of everything: The CPI. Challenge.41, (5), 99-112.1998.
  • Jacobs, Eva H.. Handbook of U.S. Labor Statistics: Employment, Earnings, Prices, Productivity, and Other Labor Data. U.S. Databook Series.Lanham: Bernan Press. 1997.
  • Cortez, Rafael, Senauer, Ben. Taste Changes in the Demand for Food by Demographic Groups in the United States: A Nonparametric Empirical Analysis. American Journal of Agricultural Economics.78, (2), 280-289.1996.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Fan, Jessie X.. An approach to adding price information to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Consumer Interests Annual.42, 197-202.1996.
  • Fan, Xiaojing Jessie. Ethnic Differences in Preference Structure and Budget Allocation Patterns. Dissertation, Ohio State University. 1993.
  • (author unknown). Consumer Price Index, Commodities and Services Data: CPI Revision. Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1986.
  • Grimaldi, Paul L.. Measured inflation and the elderly, 1973-1981. Gerontologist.22, (4), 347-353.1982.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/22.4.347 (DOI)
  • Borzilleri, Thomas C.. The need for a separate Consumer Price Index for older persons. Gerontologist.18, (3), 230-236.1978.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/18.3.230 (DOI)
  • Sloan, Frank A.. Lifetime Earnings and Physician's Choice of Speciality. Industrial and Labor Relations Review.24, (1), 47-56.1970.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 10 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1984): Consumer Price Index, 1913-1992. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.