New IPUMS DHS Climate Change and Health Research Hub

By Miriam King, Senior Research Scientist

Men wading through flood watersIn October 2023, the World Health Organization stated, “3.6 billion people already live in areas highly susceptible to climate change. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from undernutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress alone.”

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are an ideal source for research on the health effects of climate change. Since the 1980s, the DHS has collected a broad range of nationally representative health data from over 90 countries. With supplemental funding from NICHD, harmonized DHS data from IPUMS ( is now doing more to support research on the effects of climate change on health. We are adding new contextual variables; we are integrating data from Malaria Indicator Surveys (MIS); and we are offering guidance through the new Climate Change and Health Research Hub.

Sound research on climate change and health requires combining social science and health data with natural science data. While social scientists and public health researchers have considerable experience analyzing health survey data, few have been trained in simultaneously employing data on environmental factors. This knowledge gap is addressed by the Climate Change and Health Research Hub, under the leadership of Dr. Kathryn Grace and Senior Data Analyst Finn Roberts.

Continue reading…

Malaria Transmission in Context: Linking Health, Census, and Ecological Data

by Yara Ghazal, Ilyana Hohenkirk, Tracy Kugler, and Kelly Searle

Malaria, like many vector-borne diseases, impacts health, economic growth, and society. The burden of malaria incidence and death is concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa; in 2020, 95% of all malaria cases and 96% of all deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2022). Malaria impacts not only population health but also the economic growth of these 32 countries. It is estimated that up to 1.3% of economic growth in this region of Africa is slowed each year due to malaria (CCP-JHU, 2015). Understanding malaria transmission is essential to ending its spread and creating a healthier and more prosperous future for developing nations.

The literature on malaria transmission patterns has shown that several environmental factors impact mosquito and parasite vital rates, and thus affect the transmission intensity, seasonality, and geographical distribution of malaria (Castro, 2017). Temperature and precipitation are the primary climate-based factors that influence malaria transmission patterns. Temperature creates geographical constraints for vector and parasite development. Increasing temperatures have been found to shorten mosquito maturation time and increase feeding frequency. However, areas of extremely high temperatures usually yield smaller, less fecund mosquitoes. In parallel, because mosquitoes often breed in pools formed by rainfall and flooding, the frequency, duration, and intensity of precipitation have a significant influence on mosquito populations.

Continue reading…


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.

Continue reading…