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Family identifier (incl. students), round record


For all persons, FAMIDRD is a round-level variable that, when combined with DUIDRD, uniquely identifies MEPS families in the round. MEPS defines a family as a single person or a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, marriage, adoption, or otherwise define themselves as a family unit. The MEPS family definition includes unmarried partners and in-laws. Until 2017, MEPS families included fostered children, but fostered children are not included in MEPS data beginning in 2017. FAMIDRD must be combined with DUIDRD and PANEL to uniquely identify a family across panels.

Treatment of Student RUs and the Assignment of FAMIDRD values 

MEPS assigns the same value of FAMIDRD to all family members, including those who are unmarried college students under the age of 24 and living away from home (identified as student Reporting Units (RUs) with a value of 3 on RUCLASRD).

A related variable, RULETRRD, assigns a single letter value to each RU within a Dwelling Unit (identified by DUIDRD). FAMIDRD differs from RULETRRD only in its treatment of student members of an RU. In contrast to how MEPS assigns values of FAMIDRD, MEPS assigns students their own value for RULETRRD separate from their family's value.

In a handful of cases, a family was comprised of two RUs, a standard (primary) RU and a student RU, and the student's family stopped responding to the survey, but the student continued to respond. In these cases, a student was marked as 0 ("non-response") for FAMIDRD, but continued to have a valid value for RULETRRD.

Related Variables

  • RUCLASRD: Reporting unit classification, round record
  • RULETRRD: Reporting unit letter, round record
  • FAMIDYR: Annual family identifier, including students
  • CPSFAMID: Annual CPS-defined family identifier


This is a 1-character string variable.


In 1996, FAMIDRD only includes all persons in Rounds 1 and 2 of data collection; in subsequent years, FAMIDRD is available for all persons. Otherwise, this variable is completely comparable across time.


  • 1996: All persons in rounds 1 and 2 of data collection.
  • 1997-2021: All persons.


  • 1996-2021



This variable has no flags.