Big Census Microdata: IPUMS in the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers

Catherine A. Fitch , University of Minnesota
Steven Ruggles, University of Minnesota
Erin Meyer, University of Minnesota
Todd K. Gardner, U.S. Census Bureau

For the past decade IPUMS and the Census Bureau have been collaborating to recover, preserve, document, harmonize, and disseminate all surviving machine-readable population census microdata from 1960 to the present. The fruits of this collaboration are now available in Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDCs). With 1.3 billion person records and 530 million household records, IPUMS-FSRDC is the largest structured individual-level data collection describing the demographic characteristics of a population. This paper will describe the challenges of creating IPUMS-FSRDC and highlight the important research opportunities made possible by this new data resource. We will also provide details about the data, including differences between the public use data and these restricted files; description of constructed IPUMS variables, such as family interrelationships; an overview and explanation of consistent geography variables. Finally, we will discuss our plans to create harmonized versions of American Community Survey (ACS) microdata in the FSRDC.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography