General Design of the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series

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Discusses the process by which the Social History Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota designed the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). The Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) consist of random selections of information that have been taken from the US decennial censuses since 1850. These samples are useful sources of information for the decade from which they were taken, but because each census records data differently, much of the information is incompatible with other censuses. The Social History Research Laboratory has converted these PUMS into an integrated form called IPUMS. By designing common coding systems for such items as household composition, familial relationships, occupations, and geographical location, the IPUMS allows a researcher to chart social changes over time. Versions of the IPUMS data series were released in 1993 and 1994, and the final version will be released in November 1995 by the National Archives. A three-volume set will also be released that provides detailed documentation for the data series and user information.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalHistorical Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


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