Big Microdata from the U.S. Census

Steven Ruggles, University of Minnesota
Catherine A. Fitch, University of Minnesota
Matthew Sobek, University of Minnesota

This paper describes new projects to create and disseminate integrated U.S. Census microdata with approximately 1.8 billion person-records originally enumerated between 1790 and 2012. These data derive from collaborations of the University of Minnesota with the nation’s major genealogical organizations and the U.S. Census Bureau to make complete census enumerations freely available for scientific research and education. The availability of massive collections of information on U.S. population characteristics over two centuries will open new avenues for social and behavioral research, education, and policy-making. The data represent a permanent and substantial addition to the nation’s statistical infrastructure and will have far-reaching implications for research across the social and behavioral sciences.

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Presented in Session 191: Big Data for Demographic Research