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Home » Topics » General » NFHS 4 - question number link with database's variable name
NFHS 4 - question number link with database's variable name [message #14078] Sun, 11 February 2018 11:03 Go to next message
saloni is currently offline  saloni
Messages: 1
Registered: December 2017
Location: New Delhi

Is it possible to link the question number of the NFHS questionnaire with the variable names given in the dataset?

For an example:
There is question asked by the man is "Have you been married once or more than once?" This is question number 221.
But I am not able to find the relevant data variable in the database which answers this.

Any help is appreciated
Re: NFHS 4 - question number link with database's variable name [message #14580 is a reply to message #14078] Sat, 21 April 2018 22:59 Go to previous message
kingx025 is currently offline  kingx025
Messages: 95
Registered: August 2016
Location: Minneapolis. Minnesota
Senior Member
The number of the variable will usually only match the number on the survey form if the variable is a country-specific variable (non-standard), in which case the variable name usually begins with an S. Other variable names receive the number afforded that variable in all surveys, regardless of what the original question number was; the RECODE manuals provide information on the standard variables.

You may find the documentation for variables on the IPUMS-DHS website helpful in linking questions and variables. The 4 Indian DHS surveys are included in IPUMS-DHS, but we haven't yet included the data for the men's survey. However, I was able to locate a variable about whether a woman had been married once or more than once, by choosing women as the unit of analysis, limited the samples to those for India (using the sample selection tool), and then looking at the variables available in the "marriage and cohabitation" group. I see a variable named V503 (Woman had 1 union or more than 1 union), and when I check the "survey text" tab for this variable, I find the following content for the latest Indian survey:

307. Have you been married once or more than once?


I still had to start with the substantive content and work back to the survey question number, but the IPUMS-DHS documentation did allow me to link the two.

I hope this is helpful.

Miriam King

Dr. Miriam King
IPUMS-DHS Project Manager (
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