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How long to wait - value if months or years

This is a 4-digit variable that represents how long the woman would like to wait before the birth of a/another child in months or years, except for the following codes:

9000 = Logical edit - missing
9995 = Not interviewed (female questionnaire)
9996 = Not interviewed (household questionnaire)
9997 = Don't know
9998 = No response or missing
9999 = NIU (not in universe)


PREFTIMECHVAL reports the amount of time a woman would like to wait before the birth of a/another child. Values are reported in months or years. The variable must be used in combination with PREFTIMECH to determine the unit of measurement.

Enumerators were instructed to code the total number of months or years the woman would like to wait until a/another birth. However, in some samples, a select number of enumerators recorded specific years, e.g. 2017. We believe these cases were intended to represent the year in which the woman would like her next birth to occur. IPUMS-PMA previously recoded these cases to "Logical edit - missing." These cases now have been recoded by subtracting the year of the interview from the recorded response to estimate how long the women would like to wait until a/another birth.

There are some cases of valid values in PREFTIMECHVAL that do not correspond with either months or years in PREFTIMECH. These values occur in the original data and have not been edited by IPUMS.

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


There are no comparability issues.

Comparability with IPUMS-DHS

PREFTIMECHVAL, together with PREFTIMECH, can be used to create a variable similar to PREFTIMECH in IPUMS-DHS. There may be differences in questionnaire text or the variable's universe; see the Survey Text and Universe Tab of the IPUMS-DHS variable for more information.


  • Women age 15-49 who are able to get pregnant and would like to have a/another children.


  • Burkina Faso: 2014-2018, 2020
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2013-2019
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 2017-2018
  • Ethiopia: 2014-2019
  • Ghana: 2013-2017
  • India: 2016-2018
  • Indonesia: 2015-2016
  • Kenya: 2014-2019
  • Niger: 2015-2018
  • Nigeria: 2014-2019
  • Uganda: 2014-2019