In addition to collecting information on the demographic characteristics of an individual, the CPS also provides geographic information. Because this survey is address based, geographic information is natural to include. However, this information is only so specific, as for confidentiality reasons, the actual addresses are obscured from public use files.
Division, Region, and State
All households (and therefore individuals) in the sample are located in a region, division, and state. The region variable, GEREG, divides households into Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. The division variable, GEDIV, divides households into New England, Middle Atlantic, East North Central, West North Central, South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, Mountain, and Pacific. Finally, the variable GESTFIPS, earlier GESTCEN, provides information the state of residence of the household.
City and Metropolitan Area
Locations more specific than state are provided to the extent they do not reveal identifying information about respondents, and often require consulting additional codebooks. All households are provided with a specific metropolitan code and a county code (GTCBSA and GTCO). Households are then classified by location as metropolitan or nonmetropolitan (GTMETSTA) and also assigned principal city status if appropriate (GTCBSAST and GTINDVPC). Metropolitan area households are then assigned the proper size of the given area (GTCBSASZ), and all locations are given a consolidated statistical area (GTCSA).