Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) is the world's largest individual-level population database. IPUMS consists of microdata samples from United States (IPUMS-USA) and international (IPUMS-International) census records, as well as data from U.S. and international surveys. The records are converted into a consistent format and made available to researchers through a web-based data dissemination system.[1]

IPUMS is housed at the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota, under the direction of Professor Steven Ruggles.[2]


IPUMS includes all persons enumerated in the United States Censuses from 1790 to 2010 (the 1890 census is missing because it was destroyed in a fire) and from the American Community Survey since 2000 and the Current Population Survey since 1962. The IPUMS provides consistent variable names, coding schemes, and documentation across all the samples, facilitating the analysis of long-term change.[3]

IPUMS-International includes countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America for 1960 forward. The database currently includes more than a billion individuals enumerated in 365 censuses from 94 countries around the world.[4] IPUMS-International converts census microdata for multiple countries into a consistent format, allowing for comparisons across countries and time periods. Special efforts are made to simplify use of the data while losing no meaningful information. Comprehensive documentation is provided in a coherent form to facilitate comparative analyses of social and economic change.[5]

Additional databases in the IPUMS family include the:

The Journal of American History described the effort as "One of the great archival projects of the past two decades."[11] Liens Socio, the French portal for the social sciences, gave IPUMS the only “best site” designation that has gone to any non-French website, writing “IPUMS est un projet absolument extraordinaire...époustouflante [mind-blowing]!” [12]

The official motto of IPUMS is "use it for good, never for evil."[13] All IPUMS data and documentation are available online free of charge.


  1. ^ "IPUMS".
  2. ^ Steven Ruggles. "The Minnesota Population Center Data Integration Projects: Challenges of harmonizing census microdata across time and place" (PDF). 2005 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association. Government Statistics Section, Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association: 1405–1415.
  3. ^ Steven Ruggles (2014). "Big Microdata for Population Research" (PDF). Demography. 51: 287–297. doi:10.1007/s13524-013-0240-2. PMC 3949202.
  4. ^ "IPUMS-I: Sample Information". international.ipums.org. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  5. ^ Steven Ruggles, Robert McCaa, Matthew Sobek, and Lara Cleveland (2015). "The IPUMS Collaboration: Integrating and Disseminating the World's Population Microdata" (PDF). Journal of Demographic Economics. 81 (2): 203–216. doi:10.1017/dem.2014.6.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "North Atlantic Population Project".
  7. ^ "IPUMS NHGIS". IPUMS NHGIS. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  8. ^ "IPUMS Health Surveys".
  9. ^ "IPUMS Global Health".
  10. ^ "IPUMS Time Use".
  11. ^ Joel Perlmann (2003). "IPUMS". Journal of American History. 90: 339–340. doi:10.2307/3659961. JSTOR 3659961.
  12. ^ "Liens Socio".
  13. ^ "Ipums USA".

External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation