by Devon Kristiansen

IPUMS was proud to partake in the International Conference on Family Planning in Pattaya City, Thailand. We participated by hosting a pre-conference workshop, sponsoring the conference, staffing an exhibit both, and presenting research as part of the conference program. The conference, held between November 14th and 17th, 2022, had 3,500 in-person attendees, with many virtual participants, as well.

Research staff representing IPUMS PMA, IPUMS DHS, IPUMS MICS, and IPUMS International conducted a 2-hour pre-conference workshop, providing participants with an overview of each of the IPUMS data collections featuring international data as well as a website and data analysis demonstration.

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Guidance for Pooling Multiple Years of NHIS Data

By Julia A. Rivera Drew


Depending on their research question, analysts will commonly pool multiple years of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data together in order to increase sample sizes of particular subpopulations of interest, such as bisexual adults, immigrants, or pregnant women. The complex design of the NHIS, however, requires analysts to take additional steps to correctly construct and analyze pooled NHIS datasets. Moreover, planned changes to the NHIS design implemented in 2019, as well as changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, require additional special handling to correctly analyze datasets combining multiple years of NHIS data. The objectives of this blog post are to: (1) share tips to correctly construct and analyze pooled NHIS datasets and (2) identify resources for more information.

Tips to Correctly Construct and Analyze Pooled NHIS Datasets

1. Create a pooled sampling weight to use with your pooled dataset.

In general, when pooling multiple years of NHIS data together, you will need to create a new sampling weight to use with the pooled sample. To create this new sampling weight, divide the appropriate sampling weight by the number of years within each distinct sample design period. For example, if one wished to estimate the number of children living in families with low or very low food security (FSSTAT) using pooled 2020-2021 NHIS data (e.g., similar to this report), one would need to create a new sampling weight by dividing the sampling weight identified under the “weights” tab for FSSTAT, SAMPWEIGHT, by the number of years pooled together from the same sampling design period (in this case, two). The sum of the pooled weights would then represent the average annual population size for the pooled time period, rather than the total cumulative population size for the pooled time period. For any given combination of variables, refer to information under the “weights” tab for the variables included in your analysis to help select the appropriate sampling weight. The distinct NHIS sample design periods are 1963-1974, 1975-1984, 1985-1994, 1995-2005, 2006-2015, 2016-2018, and 2019-present.

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IPUMS Founder Steven Ruggles Awarded MacArthur Fellowship

By Stacy Nordstrom

Steven Ruggles standing with arms crossed in front of trees
Steven Ruggles, Historical Demographer, 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Steven Ruggles, Regents Professor of History and Population Studies and Director of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota, has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as one of this year’s MacArthur Fellows. Commonly known as the “genius grant”, the fellowship is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the United States for intellectual and artistic achievement.

A historical demographer, Dr. Ruggles is renowned for building IPUMS, the world’s largest publicly available database of population statistics, and an invaluable tool for comparative research across time and space.

“I first met Professor Ruggles when I was working at the National Science Foundation. We have since served on working groups together, and I have been repeatedly impressed by the intellectual rigor and human caring he brings to any problem,” said University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson. “His dedicated work on IPUMS has significantly advanced our scientific understanding of the human experience, and has provided data for untold numbers of scholars. This recognition is well-deserved and I am proud that Professor Ruggles is a member of our academic community.”

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