The New IPUMS Forum

As some of you may have noticed, the IPUMS Forum just had a major reimagining. Maybe it was the cabin fever of a particularly snowy Minnesota February, or maybe it was the faceless stare of our old forum’s default avatar, but something was telling us it was time for a change. And this is a big change. Not only does the forum have a snazzy new look, but it also comes with a new set of features. No more struggling to attach documents and images, no more accidentally submitting a question twice, no more faceless avatar judging you with their perfect side-part and prominent jaw line, and did I mention emojis!?!?! Best of all, this new forum is built with discussion in mind (the company that built the platform is even called Discourse). Where the old forum was a fairly rigid, question/answer framework, this new forum encourages conversation by allowing follow-up replies, relating topics to one another, and did I mention EMOJIS??!!!

Seriously haunting.

Continue reading…

IPUMS USA: County Variable Name Changes

“What’s in a name? That which we call a COUNTYFIPS by any other name would still be accurate” ~ Steve Shakespeare (the lesser known, quantitative Shakespeare).

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Though, when you are sharing your variable names with tens of thousands of researchers who really just want their analysis to work you may want to be cautious about changing variable names. This is exactly the reason our (now re-named) COUNTY variable held onto that moniker for so long. And when you do change variable names you better try your hardest to let everyone know, so let’s start with that part.

Continue reading…

IPUMS DHS at Work | “Child Stunting: National Figures Conceal Subnational Heterogeneity”

While summary national-level statistics from sources such as the World Bank are a useful tool, these national-level figures may conceal great heterogeneity across subnational units such as provinces and large urban areas.  Such differences are displayed in the figures below, with data on the percentage of stunted children under age 5, nationally and by region within countries. For example, while 40 to 50 percent of Tanzanian children overall are stunted, the figures range from under 20 percent to 50 percent or more across Tanzanian regions.

Continue reading…