New Frontiers in Big Data

Figure1 Big Data Chart1

By 2020, MPC will make freely available to researchers worldwide 100% count U.S. Census microdata through 1940. This dataset will include over 650 million individual-level (1850-1940) and 7.5 million household-level records (1790-1840). The microdata represents the fruition of longstanding collaborations between MPC and the nation’s two largest genealogical organizations— and FamilySearch—to leverage genealogical data for scientific purposes.

“The importance of this massive donation of census data would be difficult to overstate,” says MPC Director Steve Ruggles. “This is one of the largest-scale data-entry efforts ever undertaken.”

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Code Switch


University of Minnesota Sociologist Dr. Carolyn Liebler’s work examines changes in racial self-identification over time. Working with her collaborators at the U.S. Census Bureau, Liebler has analyzed a unique big dataset of linked census records — and the results have the potential to revolutionize public policy.

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Data-Driven Connections Between Maternal Health and Inequality

kbk faculty photo 2011 hi res copy

Katy Kozhimannil’s work combines her two passions, “data and women’s health.” Kozhimannil is an MPC faculty member and assistant professor in the School of Public Health in the Health Policy and Management division. Her work examines the measurement and improvement of maternity care quality, focusing on vulnerable populations and geographic variations, including rural health. Through her scholarship and advocacy on the behalf of reproductive-age women, Kozhimannil contributes to the evaluation and implementation of policy that has the power to improve maternal health care and the lives of women and their families.

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