Survey of Income and Program Participation

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The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a statistical survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau. The SIPP is designed to provide accurate and comprehensive information about the incomes of American individuals and households and their participation in income transfer programs.

SIPP data are used to evaluate the effectiveness of Federal, state, and local government programs.

The SIPP gathers information from a series of panels, each with 14,000 to 37,000 households. Each panel lasts from 2.5 to 4 years. The SIPP sample is a multistage-stratified sample of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. The respondents are all household members 15 years or older.

Each wave of interviews lasts four months. Interviews are conducted by personal visits and telephone calls.

Certain "core" questions are asked in every survey. Respondents are asked whether or not they participate in the labor force, what government programs they participated in, and about their incomes. Additional “topical modules” are added to the SIPP survey sometimes with questions on personal history, child care, wealth, program eligibility, child support, disability, school enrollment, taxes, and annual income.

The Census Bureau sponsors the survey under the authority of Title 13 of the United States Code, Section 182.

The SIPP was developed from the Income Survey Development Program, conducted between 1977 and 1981, which developed survey data collection strategies and instruments as well as data processing strategies for the SIPP.

Statistics Canada conducts an analogous survey, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), which is a longitudinal study following each of a panel of 15,000 households for 6 years.[1][2]

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