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IPUMS-International: high precision, household census samples integrated cross-nationally and* * *Robert McCaaProfessor Emeritus of Population History, University of Minnesotarmccaa@umn.edufor additional details, please


  • IPUMS-International: a global collaboratory, 1999- 5 slides

  • UK: Users, Usage, SARs, and a plan 2

  • 62 countries, 185 samples plus 20-25 annually 3

  • Integrated census microdata and metadata

    • Dynamic metadata 5

  • Impact: Teaching and Research 5

  • Conclusion: Invitation 1

1. IPUMS-International, a global collaboratory to preserve, integrate and disseminate high-precision census samples;90+ National Statistical Offices participate

  • See handouts:

  • Brochure for list of participating statistical offices, census microdata available, and info on IPUMS-International

MPC assumes responsibilities and risks for integrating & disseminating microdata and metadata (as CCSR for UK)

  • Uniform Memorandum of Understanding

    • Founding partners (2001): France, Spain, China, Vietnam, Kenya, Colombia, Mexico, USA … now 97 countries …including UK (2004)

    • Specifies conditions for entrusting microdata and for access

  • Uniform license agreement: transparent, democratic access for qualified researchers and students

    • Over 4,500 registered researchers in 90+ countries

    • Hundreds of publications (click & select “IPUMS-International”)

  • NSOs—many formerly paralyzed by fear—are relieved to be freed of risks, responsibilities, and the work!

IPUMS-International: a global collaboratorydarkgreen = integrated and disseminating 2002-2011** 62 countries, 185 samples, 397 millonperson records **medium green = integrating. Light green = negotiating2015: 80 countries, 250 samplesintegrated

Invitation to Register and Use

Mollweide projection

Europe Mirror Site:

optimized for European Concepts and Nomenclatures

2a. Study documentation2b. Create extract

3. Receive email; logon with p/word

4. Download extract (SSL encrypted)

5. UnZip data


6. Analyze using favored software

1. Login with password

2. UK Users, Usage, SARs and IPUMS

Usage Statistics

  • ~5k Users: UK ranks #2

  • ~800 institutions, top 40: 2 UK – Sussex and LSE

  • ~25k extracts, by country: UK ranks #30 …

    • UK samples in IPUMS (H-SARs 91, SARs 01) are not comparable, and are relatively poor in content

    • Do not despair: ONS-UK has agreed, in principle, to a plan to construct a uniform series of high precision household samples for 1961-2001

  • ~900k variables extracted, 33 most popular variables

    • Note MOMLOC, SPLOC—require household samples

    • 1/3 use “Attach Characteristics”—require hhld. samples

Good news from ONS: plan to assemble a completeseries of high precision household samples, 1961-2001

3. 62 countries, 185 samples available now; 20-25 samples integrated annually

  • See handout:

  • Card for list of available samples, density, and # of person records by country and census year

IPUMS-International: Census samples for research and policy making

  • 397 million integrated person records in 185 samples, representing 62 countries (Jun 2011)

  • Annually, new samples for 6-8 countries are incorporated

  • Samples for 2010 round censuses have highest priority

  • Hundred of variables are integrated:

    • Demography

    • Education

    • Work and income

    • Migration, immigration

    • Disability

    • Dwellings

IPUMS-I Samples

  • Universal population coverage

  • High precision, confidentialized samples—most drawn to IPUMS-International specifications

  • Samples—microdata and metadata—are integrated: identical concepts have the same codes in all samples

  • Analyze:

  • People in household context: employment, education, etc. 

  • Fertility and mortality: own-child method (implicit, requires no fertility module) 

  • Migration, immigration, language, ethnicity, religion 

  • Household sanitation variables (water supply, toilet, and waste disposal, rooms)

IPUMS-International Value-Addeds:

  • Open metadata system: universal, free access

  • Dynamic, integrated metadata system to compare text of any question for any combination of countries and censuses

  • Microdata integrated: cross-nationally and chronologically

  • Custom-tailored extracts constructed by each researcher:

    • Select country/ies, census/es, variables, sub-populations, sample size

  • Pointer variables (momloc, poploc, sploc; also –rule): parent-child and spouse links.

  • Attach characteristics: of parents to children and spouses to spouses

    • Facilitates relational analysis with no programming required

  • And much more…

4. IPUMS-International open-access, integrated, dynamically generated,<ddi> compatible metadata (copies shared with NSO partners and World Bank IHSN)

See, p. 3:

2011: “IPUMS-International: Free, Worldwide Microdata Access Now for Censuses of 62 Countries--80 by 2015,” 58th International Statistical Institute, Dublin, Ireland, 21-26 August.


User registration, conditions of use license

Browse (metadata) and select data

Download data extract (and <ddi> codebook)

View sample descriptions (integrated metadata)

Link to Official Statistical Agency home pages

Bibliography: view cites, link to publications

Metadata are integrated, open access, dynamically constructed. Example: Marital Status

IntegratedIPUMS-I Metadata:

Codes and FrequenciesDetailed, Case-Count View2 rules:

1. Retain details2. Harmonize everything

IPUMS integration empowers the researcher to make informed research decisions

IntegratedIPUMS-I Metadata:

Enumeration textView text in English for any combination of countries and censuses. 2 documents:

1. Form

IntegratedIPUMS-I Metadata:

Enumeration textView text in English for any combination of countries and censuses. 2 documents:

1. Form2. Instructions

scroll down for more

5. Impact: teaching and research

“IPUMS-I is an excellent resource for teaching…” -- David Lam, President, Population Association America

  • Free, easy access to data for many countries and censuses

  • Large sample sizes:

  • Make it possible to include many different variables in a regression… multi-level model…

  • Produce separate estimates for population sub-groups

  • Easy to extract samples with a target sample size (e.g., 50mb)

  • Easy to revise an extract for a larger size or to include more countries, censuses, variables or sub-populations

  • Students show a great deal of creativity in using IPUMS-I

  • Skills acquired have an immediate pay-off when applying for jobs (e.g., World Bank), graduate school, etc.

Research: What are integrated census samples used for? see

Or: IPUMS-International + key-word: subject, country, etc.

Research Topics—amazingly diverse

  • Economists:

    • Comparative study of labor force participation

    • Demand and supply of public services (water, electricity, sewage, etc.)

    • Economic impact of family planning and fertility decline

    • Brain drain, brain gain

    • Econometric analysis of labor force and income

    • Effect of long-term youth unemployment

    • Effects of volume of human capital on returns to education

    • Human capital and aging

    • Impact of trade policies on growth, development, immigration, labor markets, and inequality

    • Etc.

Impact: Ramadan fasting and fetal healthD. Almond & B. Mazumder “Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment:The Effect of Ramadan Observance During Pregnancy”American Economic Journal (2011)

  • Vital registration data: among births to Arab parents in Michigan, prenatal exposure to Ramada fasting

    •  lower birth weight

    • first month of gestation, fewer male births

  • IPUMS-International census samples, Uganda 02 (n = 80k Muslims), Iraq 97 (250k) --disability, religion, month of birth.Long term “fetal origins” effect, where early pregnancy overlapped with Ramadan:

    •  adults 20% more likely to be disabled

    •  effects are larger for mental (learning) disabilities

    •  relatively mild prenatal exposures can have persistent effects

  • “maternal behavior, particularly during the first month of pregnancy, can have permanent impacts on offspring health”

6. Invitation to use IPUMS-International census samples

1. Use data responsibly:

a. Respect confidentiality.

b. Share data only with registered users.

c. Secure data from unregistered users.

2. Analyze data carefully:

a. Apply weights where appropriate.

b. Use proper methods.

c. Report results accurately

3. Support NSOs and IPUMS-International

a. Cite NSOs and IPUMS in publications

b. Register citations in IPUMS bibliography

c. Report data errors to


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