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Annual family identifier (MEPS family definition)


For all persons, FAMIDYR uniquely identifies MEPS families within the current calendar year when combined with DUID. FAMIDYR must be combined with both DUID and PANEL to uniquely identify a family across panels. MEPS defines families as a single person or a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, marriage, adoption, or who otherwise identify 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.

MEPS assigns the same value of FAMIDYR 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 with a value of 3 on RUCLAS).

Related Variables

  • FAMIDRD: Round-specific family identifier, including students
  • CPSFAMID: Annual CPS-defined family identifier


This is a 1-character string variable.


The construction of FAMIDYR differs over time. In 1996 and from 2007-forward, FAMIDYR takes on the most recent, valid, non-zero value of FAMIDRD collected for an individual within a panel. For example, someone with a value of "A" for FAMIDRD in Round 1 and a value of "0" in every subsequent round has their FAMIDYR value set to "A" for both years of data collection.

However, from 1997-2006, an individual's FAMIDYR value took on the Round 3 value of FAMIDRD in year 1 of data collection and the Round 5 value of FAMIDRD in year 2 of data collection. Therefore, FAMIDYR may take on a value of "0" in this period only. Individuals in Panel 11, which spanned 2006 and 2007, were treated differently in 2006 than they were in 2007. For example, take the individual with MEPSID = 6433405311. This person has a value of "A" for FAMIDRD in Rounds 1 and 2 and a value of "0" for FAMIDRD in Rounds 3, 4, and 5. They have a value of "0" for FAMIDYR in 2006 and a value of "A" for FAMIDYR in 2007. This is because their 2006 data is treated by taking the Round 3 value of FAMIDRD for FAMIDYR (according to the 1997-2006 conventions), whereas their 2007 data is treated by taking the most recent, valid value of FAMIDRD for FAMIDYR. This most recent valid, value occurred in Round 2 in 2006.

Additionally, some individuals are marked as "non-response" for FAMIDYR, but have a valid Reporting Unit (RU) value. RUs are used as a survey administration unit and differ from MEPS families only in their treatment of students. Student members of a family living away from home constitute their own RU (identified by RULETR), but are grouped back with their family for FAMIDYR. In 1997-2006, there are cases in which students are marked as "non-response" for FAMIDYR, but have a valid value for RULETR. This is because the original family with which a student is associated has stopped responding to the survey, but the student keeps responding. Therefore, the student is considered part of a non-responding family, but part of a responding RU, since the RU consists only of themselves. Please see the user note for more information on the relationship between Dwelling Units, families, Reporting Units, and persons.


  • 1996-2019: All respondents


  • 1996-2019



This variable has no flags.