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Explorations of multi-level methods & ecological inference techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”. Peter Doorn & Luuk Schreven [email protected] & [email protected] Data Archiving & Networked Services (DANS)

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Explorations of multi-level methods & ecological inference techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

Peter Doorn & Luuk Schreven

[email protected] & [email protected]

Data Archiving & Networked Services (DANS)

Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI)


Structure of presentation
Structure of presentation techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Introduction to “Life Courses in Context”-project

    • Life Courses: Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN)

    • Context: Census digitization project

  • Exploration of multi-level methods & ecological inference techniques


Introduction to life courses in context project
Introduction to Life Courses in Context project techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

Two separate components:

  • Life Courses: Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN)

  • Context: Digitization of (aggregate) Census data 1795 – 1971

    One combined grant application to Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (+ € 3.6 mln funding)


Aim of life courses in context project
Aim of Life Courses in Context project techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

‘…to develop a collaboratory for the study of 19th and 20th century population history.’

By combining the HSN and Census data sources:

  • HSN: Micro data + 40,000 individual life courses

  • Census: aggregate data from published census tables


Life courses historical sample of the netherlands
Life Courses: Historical Sample of the Netherlands techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

‘…to construct life courses as completely as possible for a representative portion of the 19th and 20th century population in the Netherlands.’

A sample has been drawn from the birth registers of all persons born in the Netherlands between 1812 and 1922 (sample size = 77,000 persons)

Data gathering by International Institute of Social History (IISH-IISG) since 1991


Sources of hsn
Sources of HSN techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • (already mentioned) Birth registers basis of sample

    Person born, names, addresses, ages and occupations of parents (literacy of father)

  • Death certificates

    Place of residence, age and occupation of deceased, information on his/her spouse. In case of child occupation and literacy of father

  • Marriage certificates

    Occupations, place of residence and literacy of couple, parents and witnesses

  • Dynamic population registration system (in use since 1850) & personal record cards (later stage)

    Family structure, pattern of migration

  • Land registers & tax records (later stage)

    Occupational history and wealth of subject


Use of hsn
Use of HSN techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Basic resource for historical research in demography, sociology, epidemiology, socio-economics and social geography

  • Control database to compare research data

  • Foundation for the collection of new data

  • Source of expertise on data collecting

    Questions? Contact Kees Mandemakers ([email protected])


Context census digitization 1795 1971
Context: Census Digitization 1795-1971 techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • ‘…to digitize all published (aggregate) census data from Dutch population, housing and occupational censuses between 1795 to 1971’

  • National population censuses are one of the fundamental sources of information on conditions in a country, used in historical and social science research

  • Information on population size and structural characteristics: age, gender, marital status, religion, household status, occupational activity and nationality


Main objectives of dutch censuses
Main objectives of Dutch censuses techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • To determine the size of the population on a fixed point in time

  • To probe and improve the reliability of the Dutch population registers

  • To examine the demographic and social-economic characteristics of the population

  • To provide data to facilitate domestic policy making


Census digitization projects 1997 present
Census Digitization projects: 1997 – present techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • 1997 - 1999:

    • Scanning 200 books, 42.500 pages

    • Data-entry census 1899

  • 2002 - March 2004:

    • Validation and correction of census data 1795-1859 and 1930

    • Digital archiving census 1960 and 1971

  • March 2003 – December 2005:

    • Life Courses in Context (see: http://www.lifecoursesincontext.nl)

    • Data-entry of census data 1869-1956

    • Documentation, harmonization, access and research


What has been realized
What has been realized? techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • New website up and running

    • Only in Dutch! 

    • Some 40,000 pages of tabular (aggregate) census data downloadable from website

    • Documentation is available

    • Validation and correction are partially complete

    • Harmonization schemes for certain census variables

  • (restricted) Access to original micro data files for 1960 and 1971 census

    • Van Tubergen & Maas (2005)


Still to do
Still to do… techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Finishing validation and correction

  • Building harmonization schemes for census variables:

    • HISCO for harmonization of occupations

    • Standardizing sub municipal divisions

    • Harmonizing other variables and categories

  • Better access to the data

    • Data not only as Excel spreadsheets

    • StatLine or Nesstar? Or other publication tool?

  • Translation of the website to English!


Combining hsn census datasets
Combining HSN & Census datasets techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Census covers whole population; check on data collected in sample

  • Data sets are complementary; more data will be available

  • HSN data are longitudinal; census data are cross-sectional snapshots

  • Census data provide more regional detail

  • Combining data can result in identification of individuals (privacy issues!)


Comparison of variables
Comparison of variables techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”


Combining data across levels of aggregation
Combining data across levels of aggregation techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

Historians have rarely tried to combine data from sources of unequal levels of aggregation

Three approaches to combine data from the HSN and Censuses:

  • Aggregating individual data

  • Multi-level or cross level analysis

  • Disaggregating aggregate data


Aggregating individual data
Aggregating individual data techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Most straightforward way of combining two sources

  • Details of the individual will be lost

  • Aggregating HSN data for cross-sections at census years is no easy task

  • Censuses are not perfect; statistical deviations found can either be caused by HSN or by census


Multi level analysis
Multi-level analysis techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • No actual linkage of records; in multi-level analysis the objective is to statistically explain a phenomenon in which higher levels of scale are included in the analysis

  • Censuses provide background variables not available in HSN; whereas HSN contains individual detail not found in census tables

  • In analyses at the individual level, ecological effects of higher levels may be taken in consideration


Reconstruction of individual records from aggregate tables
Reconstruction of individual records from aggregate tables techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Statistical Disclosure Control & synthetic estimation methods

    • Prevent identification of individual entities from aggregate data

    • Synthetic estimation methods can be used to reconstruct synthetic individual records from detailed census tables

  • Ecological inference

    • ‘…is the process of extracting clues about individual behaviour from information reported at the group or aggregate level’

    • Difficult technique, it remains a challenge to apply it to the Dutch censuses

      Questions? Contact Peter Doorn ([email protected])


Conclusion and directions for future research
Conclusion and directions for future research techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

This paper makes a plea for more interest by historians for the linkage of data from different levels of aggregation

The next step is to elaborate on the approaches described in this paper empirically

Data and techniques are available, we need a researcher who wants to take on the challenge


Contact information
Contact Information techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • dr. Peter Doorn

    Director Data Archiving & Networked Services

    www.dans.knaw.nl

    [email protected]

  • drs. Luuk Schreven

    project coordinator Census digitization

    www.volkstelling.nl

    [email protected]

    Paper available in electronic form from website www.lifecoursesincontext.nl


Population per municipality in 1795
Population per municipality in 1795 techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

In 1795 Amsterdam is the biggest city with 217.024 “souls” Klein-Waspik is the smallest hamlet with 3 inhabitants; a total of 1807 municipalities are mentioned in the census.

Source: http://www.nidi.nl/


Boonstra s nlkaart
Boonstra’s NLKaart techniques in the analysis of “Life Courses in Context”

  • Dr. Boonstra’s NLKaart;

    • mid 1980’s onwards

    • first Historical GIS?

    • municipal boundaries

      between 1830 - 1990

    • first SAS/Graph based,

      later MapInfo


Hgin a historical geographic information system for the netherlands
HGIN; a Historical Geographic Information System for the Netherlands

  • Project goals:

    • Converting and correcting Boonstra’s NLKaart

    • digitizing maps with sub municipal boundaries ‘wijken’ (neighbourhoods) and ‘buurten’ (blocks) (1920 – 1971)

    • Setting up a gazetteer of historic places

    • Making the everything available on the web


Hgin details technical stuff
HGIN details: technical stuff Netherlands

  • Scalable Vector Graphics

  • Geoserver as basic geographical data server (OpenGIS)

  • User friendly interface in NIWI’s Content Management Software: i-Tor

    see: http://www.itor.org or http://www.nidi.nl for working preview of the GIS.


Hgin details results so far
HGIN details: results so far Netherlands

  • Testversion of mapping application is running at NIDI’s website (www.nidi.nl)

  • 1960 and 1971 sub municipal maps available

  • 1930, 1947 and 1956 maps are being digitized (outsourced)

  • NLKaart converted to ArcGIS

  • Work on gazetteer started


Hgin details religion 1971 provincial
HGIN details: religion 1971 (provincial) Netherlands

Percentage Roman Catholic by province, Census 1971


Hgin details religion 1971 municipal
HGIN details: religion 1971 (municipal) Netherlands

Percentage Roman Catholic by municipality, Census 1971


Hgin details religion 1971 submunicipal
HGIN details: religion 1971 (submunicipal) Netherlands

Percentage Roman Catholic by block / neighbourhood, Census 1971


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