Most population data—especially census data—have traditionally been available only in aggregated tabular form. IPUMS-International is composed of microdata, which means that it provides information about individual persons and households. This makes it possible for researchers to create tabulations tailored to their particular questions. Since IPUMS-International includes most of the information originally recorded by census enumerators, users can construct a great variety of tabulations interrelating any desired set of variables. Data are made available through a data extraction system in which users select the variables and samples they desire. They download the data and analyze them on their local computer. See the IPUMS FAQ for information on a variety of topics related to the design and use of the data series.
The data series includes information on a broad range of population characteristics, including fertility, nuptiality, life-course transitions, migration, labor-force participation, occupational structure, education, ethnicity, and household composition. The information available in each sample varies according to the questions asked in that year and by differences in post-enumeration processing. A full listing of available variables can be found in the documentation system.
The database currently describes approximately 560 million persons recorded in 258 censuses taken from 1960 to the present. The database includes censuses from 79 countries: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zambia. See the samples list for details. More samples are added to the database each year, with our most recent plans described in future releases.
Use of the IPUMS data is restricted to scholarly and educational purposes. Potential users must agree to abide by specified rules for protecting the confidentiality of the data and apply for access. IPUMS-International only distributes data through its web dissemination system, never through other mechanisms.
IPUMS is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and the various National Statistical Offices who provide the data and allow the project to disseminate it. Without their generosity and trust, the project would not be possible.