Work on IPUMS International began in October 1999. One of our first goals was to inventory and preserve surviving machine-readable census microdata and documentation. In 2000, the first edition of our census microdata inventory was published in Handbook of International Census Microdata for Population Research, edited by P. Kelly Hall, R. McCaa, and G. Thorvaldsen. A revised inventory can be accessed here. In 2001, the United Nations Statistics Division donated its archive of historical census documentation, including enumeration forms for most countries dating from the 1980s and earlier, to the Minnesota Population Center. A collection of scanned enumeration forms, consisting of the 1960-1990 census rounds, was published by the Minnesota Population Center and is available upon request.
We have also worked with the Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeno de Demografia (CELADE) to preserve a large collection of census metadata, documentation, and microdata covering almost all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (over 3,000 census tapes). Much of the documentation has been scanned and provided to the Minnesota Population Center, as well as repatriated to the appropriate national statistical authorities.
The Minnesota Population Center has secured dissemination agreements from over 100 countries since 2001. A preliminary version of data and documentation from Colombia, France, Kenya, Mexico, the United States, and Vietnam were first made available in spring 2002. Additional variables and a new sample for 1982 China were added in March 2003, and samples for Brazil were added in 2004. Since a major redesign of the project in 2005, over 300 additional samples have been released. In March 2018, after another major project redesign, we added 44 historical samples from 1703 to 1910 to the database, many of which include 100% of the population. Those data were processed in partnership with National Archives and academic researchers under the initiative of the North Atlantic Population Project. The latest data release in November 2020 included 19 new labor force surveys.
IPUMS International has been funded by a series of grants since its inception. The U.S. National Science Foundation provided the initial IPUMS-International grant in 2000. In 2005, 2009, 2014, and 2019, NSF funded extensions of the project allowing for continuous development of the infrastructure through 2024. The U.S. National Institutes of Health began funding a regional IPUMS-Latin America project in 2003, which was subsequently granted 5-year extensions in 2008 and 2013. That project was replaced by a geographically broader IPUMS-Global South project in 2019, aiming to add more data while enhancing the utility of the database for studying aging. NIH also funded a separate regional IPUMS-Eurasia project in 2004, which was extended in 2009 and 2015.
We have ongoing negotiations with numerous countries that have expressed interest in participating in the IPUMS International initiative, and we continue to locate and preserve at-risk datasets from around the world.