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IPUMS International (PPIRS Int'l Data Webinar)

Research Guide associated with PPIRS International Data Workshop Session 2: IPUMS International.


This workshop will explain what IPUMS International is, what to expect from the data, how to access data, and suggestions for librarians to advise patrons working with IPUMS International data.

  • Basic Concepts
    • Definitions of essential terms, such as microdata, harmonized variables, and weights
  • Getting Started with Data
    • Getting Access
    • Getting Started with Data
    • Teaching with IPUMS
    • Using the Online SDA Tabulator
    • Using Statistical Packages, Examples in R
  • Tricky Aspects and Getting Help
    • Tricky Things to Be Aware Of
    • Getting Help
    • Other Items of Interest

What is IPUMS International?

IPUMS International provides individual-level census microdata samples.  These data come from Censuses around the world.  Years vary depending on the country, with some going back to the 19th Century, and others continuing into the 21st Century.  You will not find pre-tabulated statistical tables here.  You need to use a statistical package like R, STATA, or SPSS (or the online SDA tabulator) in order to make sense of the data.  IPUMS offers data that are "harmonized" between years and countries to maximize comparison.  The data are very well curated, including providing all necessary documentation.  You can get sample information (information about the census survey sample for each country and year), variable information, and full questionnaires and enumeration instructions in English and original language.

The years for the available countries can vary pretty widely.  Some still seem to get current updates (i.e., there is a sample available within the last 10 years).  Others are much older.