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Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1980-1981: Diary Survey

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data, and aggregate data
  • United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Consumer Expenditure Survey Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
consumer behavior; consumer expenditures; consumption; debt; demographic characteristics; household budgets; household expenditures; household income; purchasing
  • Abstract

    This data collection contains selected expenditure and income data from the diary components of the 1980 and 1981 Consumer Expenditure Surveys. The principal objectives of the survey were to collect current consumer expenditure data to provide a continuous flow of data on the buying habits of American consumers for use in a wide variety of social and economic research and analysis, and to provide data for future revisions to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The 1980 diary survey data were derived from the reports of over 5,500 sample consumer units. Consumer units were asked to list all of their expenses during the period they were in the survey. The diary data were collected with a household characteristics questionnaire and a separate questionnaire to record daily expenses. The diary survey was intended to obtain reliable expenditure data on small, frequently- purchased items that are normally difficult to recall. These items include expenditures for food and beverages, gas and electricity, gasoline, housekeeping supplies, nonprescription drugs and medical supplies, and personal care products and services.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Consumer Unit Characteristics and Aggregated Expenditures, 1980
    • DS2: Member Characteristics, 1980
    • DS3: Detailed Expenditures, 1980
    • DS4: Codebook for Parts 1-3: Consumer Expenditures Survey, 1980, Diary Survey
    • DS5: Consumer Unit Characteristics and Aggregated Expenditures, 1981
    • DS6: Member Characteristics, 1981
    • DS7: Detailed Expenditures, 1981
    • DS8: Codebook for Parts 5-7: Consumer Expenditures Survey, 1981, Diary Survey
Temporal Coverage
  • 1980 / 1981
    Time period: 1980--1981
  • 1980 / 1981
    Collection date: 1980--1981
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Households in the United States. In addition to the population residing in regular housing units, this includes boarding houses, housing facilities for students and workers, staff units in institutions such as prisons, hospitals and homes for the elderly, infirm, or needy, permanent-type living quarters in hotels and motels, and mobile home parks.
A nationwide probability sample of households designed to be representative of the entire population was drawn.
Collection Mode
  • (1) Between 1980 and 1981, the survey concepts and procedures did not change. Geographic classification was by Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) status and Census region. However, the 1981 sample did not include rural areas outside the SMSA samples. Since the rural sample was not collected in 1981, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was able to provide region data for consumer units living outside SMSAs in 1981. In 1980, the region was collapsed because the outside rural west sample was too small to meet confidentiality requirements. (2) Unlike previous surveys, which were conducted every 10 to 12 years, the 1980-1981 surveys were the beginning of an ongoing survey that provided data on a continual basis. (3) Two sets of population weights are provided. (4) The codebooks are provided by the principal investigator as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

2003-09-16 The data producer resupplied all the data files and codebooks, which were provided as PDF. The revised data add the origin of the reference person to the family characteristics.
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
  • 8235 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08235.v2
  • Primiceri, Giorgio E., van Rens, Thijs. Heterogeneous life-cycle profiles, income risk and consumption inequality. Journal of Monetary Economics.56, (1), 20-39.2009.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2008.10.001 (DOI)
  • Souleles, Nicholas S.. College tuition and household savings and consumption. Journal of Public Economics.77, (2), 185-207.2000.
    • ID: 10.1016/S0047-2727(99)00068-7 (DOI)
  • Anonymous. The food-at-home budget: Changes between 1980 and 1992. Family Economics and Nutrition Review.12, (2), 57-61.1999.
  • Paulin, Geoffrey D.. The changing food-at-home budget: 1980 and 1992 compared. Monthly Labor Review.121, (12), 3-32.1998.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Zuo, Jun. Health Information, Consumer Participation, and Market Demand: The Case of Fresh Milk in the United States. Dissertation, Ohio State University. 1996.
  • Cortez, Rafael A.. Taste Changes in the Demand for Food by Demographic Groups in the United States: A Nonparametric Empirical Analysis. Dissertation, University of Minnesota. 1994.
  • Rubin, Rose M., Riney, Bobye J.. Workig Wives and Dual-Earner Families. Westport: Praeger. 1994.
  • Gieseman, Raymond. The Consumer Expenditure Survey: Quality control by comparative analysis. Monthly Labor Review.110, (3), 8-14.1987.
  • (author unknown). Consumer Expenditure Survey: Diary Survey, 1980-81. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin.2173, Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1983.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1984): Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1980-1981: Diary Survey. Version 1. Consumer Expenditure Survey Series. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.