SERIAL is an identifying number unique to each household in a given sample. All person records are assigned the same serial number as the household record that they follow. (Person records also have their own unique identifiers -- see PERNUM.) The combination of SAMPLE and SERIAL provides a unique identifier for every household in the IPUMS-International database; SAMPLE, SERIAL and PERNUM uniquely identify every person in the database.
SERIAL can be used to identify dwellings in some samples. In these samples, the first 7 digits of SERIAL provide the dwelling number common to all households that were sampled from the same structure. The last three digits give the sequence of the household within the dwelling. The following is a list of samples in which dwellings can be inferred:
Chile 1970, 1992, 2002
Colombia 1993, 2005
Costa Rica 1984, 2000
Dominican Republic 1981, 2002, 2010
Ecuador 1990, 2001
Hungary 1980, 1990, 2001
Jamaica 1982, 1991, 2001
Malaysia 1970, 1991, 2000
Mexico 1995, 1990, 2000, 2005
Peru 1993, 2007
Portugal 1981, 1991, 2001
Venezuela 1990, 2001
In all other samples, the last 3 digits are always zeroes.
SERIAL was constructed for IPUMS-International, and has no relation to the serial number in the original datasets.
Technical Household Variables -- HOUSEHOLD
Imputation and derivation
SERIAL is a 10-digit numeric variable.
The last 3 digits of SERIAL indicate household number within dwelling for selected samples noted in the variable description. In all other samples, the last 3 digits are always zeroes.