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Date first used most recent or current method in century month

FPBEGINUSECMC is a 4-digit variable that represents the century-month value (months since 1900) when the woman began using her current or most recent family planning method. The following values represent NIU (not in universe) or missing cases:

9995 = Not interviewed (female questionnaire)
9998 = No response or missing
9999 = NIU (not in universe)


FPBEGINUSECMC reports the century month code (CMC) for when the respondent first used her most recent or current family planning method. The instructions in the questionnaire specify that the respondent must have been at least 10 years old and at least the age she was when she started using her first contraceptive method in the month and year that she reported.

Note that January is consistently the most common month across samples (see FPBEGINUSEMO). Due to the data entry format of the survey, if a respondent reported a year but not a month for when she started using her most recent family planning method, January was the default month.

Enumerators were instructed to enter the date as January 1st, 2020 if the respondent did not give a response to the associated survey question. IPUMS has recoded these cases to "No response."

Century month codes (CMC) are particularly useful for checking the consistency of dates, calculating intervals between events, and imputing dates when the information for an event is missing or partially complete.

Century month codes (CMC) are calculated by multiplying by 12 the difference between the year of an event and 1900. The year 1900 was chosen as the reference period because all of the relevant events for PMA2020 occurred during the twentieth or twenty-first centuries. The month of the event is added to the previous result in the following formula:

CMC = (Year - 1900) * 12 + Month
For example, the CMC for June 2002 is:

CMC = (2002 - 1900) * 12 + 6 = 1230

In other words, 1,230 months have elapsed between January 1900 and June 2002. Starting with CMC figures, one can calculate the month and year using the following formulas:

Year = int( ( CMC - 1 )/12 ) + 1900

[int(x) is the integer part of x]

Month = CMC - ( ( Year - 1900 ) * 12 )

The information above is based on "Online Guide to DHS Statistics" (Rutstein and Rojas, 2006).

The question associated with this variable was included in the female questionnaire.


Starting with the samples Burkina Faso 2016 Round 4, Congo (DR) 2017 Round 6, Ethiopia 2017 Round 5, Ghana 2016 Round 5, Indonesia 2016 Round 2, India 2017 Round 2, Kenya 2016 Round 5, Niger 2016 Round 2, Nigeria 2017 Round 4, and Uganda 2017 Round 5, the question wording changed to clarify when the woman started using her current method without stopping.


  • Women aged 15-49 who have used a contraceptive method in the past 12 months.


  • Burkina Faso: 2014-2018
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2013-2018
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 2017-2018
  • Ethiopia: 2014-2018
  • Ghana: 2013-2017
  • India: 2016-2018
  • Indonesia: 2015-2016
  • Kenya: 2014-2018
  • Niger: 2015-2018
  • Nigeria: 2014-2018
  • Uganda: 2014-2018