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Free data

IPUMS-International: high precision, household census samples integrated cross-nationally and* * *Robert McCaaProfessor Emeritus of Population History, University of [email protected] 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 disseminating microdata and metadata 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: disseminating microdata and metadata

optimized for European Concepts and Nomenclatures

6 steps using www ipums org international

2a. Study documentation disseminating microdata and metadata 2b. 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 disseminating microdata and metadata

Usage Statistics disseminating microdata and metadata

  • ~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 complete series of high precision household samples 1961 2001
Good news from ONS: plan to assemble a complete disseminating microdata and metadata series of high precision household samples, 1961-2001

3. 62 countries, 185 samples available now; disseminating microdata and metadata 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: disseminating microdata and metadata 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 disseminating microdata and metadata

  • 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- disseminating microdata and metadata 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 generated,

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

Integrated constructed. Example: Marital StatusIPUMS-I Metadata:

Codes and FrequenciesDetailed, Case-Count View2 rules:

1. Retain details2. Harmonize everything

IPUMS integration empowers the researcher to make informed research decisions

Integrated constructed. Example: Marital StatusIPUMS-I Metadata:

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

1. Form

Integrated constructed. Example: Marital StatusIPUMS-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 constructed. Example: Marital Status

Ipums i is an excellent resource for teaching david lam president population association america
“IPUMS-I is an excellent resource for teaching…” constructed. Example: Marital Status-- 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 http bibliography ipums org
Research: What are integrated census samples used for? constructed. Example: Marital Statussee

Or www scholar google com ipums international key word subject country etc
Or: constructed. Example: Marital StatusIPUMS-International + key-word: subject, country, etc.

Research topics amazingly diverse
Research Topics—amazingly constructed. Example: Marital Statusdiverse

  • 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 health constructed. Example: Marital StatusD. 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 constructed. Example: Marital Status

1. Use data responsibly: constructed. Example: Marital Status

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 [email protected]

Thank you constructed. Example: Marital [email protected]