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Cohabiting partner's line number (self-reported)


This variable reports the line number (LINENO_CPS8) of the partner.
0 = No cohabiting partner of this person present in household
99 = NIU (Not in Universe)


PECOHAB is a variable that indicates whether the person's cohabiting partner lived in the same household and, if so, gives the line number (LINENO_CPS8) of the partner. PECOHAB makes it easy for researchers to link the characteristics of cohabiting partners.

Since 2007, unmarried respondents in households with unrelated adults have been asked: "Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner in this household?" If they responded yes, the respondent was then asked to identify the cohabiting partner and the interviewer recorded the partner's line number. The same question was posed about all other unmarried adults in the household except persons identified as the unmarried partner of the household head. PECOHAB provides the line number of cohabitors identified through this direct question on cohabitation and of persons identified as the unmarried partner of the household head. PECOHAB is reported as is and may require additional cleaning by researchers.

In addition to cohabiting partners, respondents also identified spouses, (ASPOUSE), mothers (PELNMOM), and fathers (PELNDAD).

An Introduction to the Family Interrelationship Variables can be found on IPUMS-USA. On this page you'll find specific examples of how pointer variables, like PECOHAB, can be used efficiently. The Census Bureau working paper "Improvements to Demographic Household Data in the Current Population Survey: 2007" may also be useful.

PECOHAB was drawn from the final CPS interview, conducted 2-5 months before the ATUS interview. Cohabiting partner's location was not collected at the time of the ATUS interview.


PECOHAB is consistent in all years for which it is available.


  • All persons in the household at the time of the CPS interview.


  • 2007-2023