Preservation

A central goal of IPUMS-International is to create an inventory of surviving census microdata and documentation. We are collecting enumerator instructions, census forms, codebooks, studies of data quality, and any other ancillary documentation we can locate for all countries that will allow us access to this information.

The preservation of the world's census data is probably the single most important aspect of the project. There can be no harmonization or innovative future research using these data if they have been lost or become unreadable. These data were collected at vast expense and represent the fullest statistical picture we will ever have of human populations in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We owe it to future researchers to safeguard these materials, even in cases where public access might not currently be allowable.

IPUMS-International has worked with the national statistical offices of Kenya, Mali, Mongolia, Romania, and Sudan to recover data that had become unreadable in the home country or to convert historical data into machine readable form. We are continually seeking out additional preservation opportunities.

An inventory of microdata known to exist in our holdings or elsewhere can be accessed here.