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For all events, PANELE reports the number of the panel of which the participant was a member on the event record. MEPS began in 1996 with Panel number 1 and the panel number for persons entering the MEPS in each subsequent year increases by 1, so that 1997 had Panels 1 (the panel that entered in 1996, in their second year in 1997) and 2 (the panel newly entering MEPS in 1997), 1998 had Panels 2 and 3, 1999 had Panels 3 and 4, and so on. PANELE can be combined with DUIDE and PIDE to uniquely identify individuals across panels on round records. IPUMS MEPS offers the constructed variable MEPSIDE that is equal to the concatenated values of PANELE, DUIDE, and PIDE. Beginning in 2018, DUID begins with PANEL and so concatenating PANEL with DUID and PID is no longer necessary.

For more information on the relationship between calendar year, panel, and round data, please see the IPUMS MEPS Panel Design Documentation.


This is a 2-digit numeric variable.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 1996-2021: All events.


  • 1996-2021



This variable has no flags.