IPUMS Approach to Harmonizing International Census and Survey Microdata

Lara Cleveland, University of Minnesota
Matthew Sobek, University of Minnesota

IPUMS is the world's largest collection of population microdata available for research and education. The project integrates census data from 98 countries into one consistent database. The signature feature of IPUMS is to harmonize variables across countries and over a fifty year period, so the same code has consistent meaning across time and place. This paper describes the methods and approaches developed over years that make it easier to harmonize across data from new types of censuses and surveys. The aim is to facilitate comparative research by reducing the cognitive and logistical burden on researchers, enabling them to focus on analysis. Several examples of recent research, focusing that conducted by African researchers or about African countries will be featured, highlighting those that use interesting or novel applications of census data.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 37. Initiatives Promoting the use of Census Data in Africa