IPUMS Announces 2020 Research Award Recipients

IPUMS research awardsIPUMS is excited to announce the winners of its annual IPUMS Research Awards. These awards honor the best-published research and nominated graduate student papers from 2020 that used IPUMS data to advance or deepen our understanding of social and demographic processes.

IPUMS, developed by and housed at the University of Minnesota, is the world’s largest individual-level population database, providing harmonized data on people in the U.S. and around the world to researchers at no cost.

There are six award categories, and each is tied to the following IPUMS projects:

  • IPUMS USA, providing data from the U.S. decennial censuses, the American Community Survey, and IPUMS CPS from 1850 to the present.
  • IPUMS International, providing harmonized data contributed by more than 100 international statistical office partners; it currently includes information on 500 million people in more than 200 censuses from around the world, from 1960 forward.
  • IPUMS Health Surveys, which makes available the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).
  • IPUMS Spatial, covering IPUMS NHGIS and IPUMS Terra. NHGIS includes GIS boundary files from 1790 to the present; Terra provides data on population and the environment from 1960 to the present.
  • IPUMS Global Health: providing harmonized data from the Demographic and Health Surveys and the Performance Monitoring and Accountability surveys, for low and middle-income countries from the 1980s to the present.
  • IPUMS Time Use, providing time diary data from the U.S. and around the world from 1965 to the present.

Over 2,500 publications based on IPUMS data appeared in journals, magazines, and newspapers worldwide last year. From these publications and from nominated graduate student papers, the award committees selected the 2020 honorees.

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How has COVID-19 affected 2020 data collection efforts?

By Julia A. Rivera Drew, Sarah M. Flood, Renae Rodgers

IPUMS integrates data from several major US surveys that collect data throughout the year. Below, we discuss how COVID-19 has affected how US statistical agencies have collected these survey data in 2020.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Census Bureau have continued to collect data on a monthly basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing some procedural modifications to protect the safety of respondents and Census Bureau employees and adding a short supplement to capture the effects of the pandemic on work in the United States.

Changes to Interviewing Procedures

Current Population Survey (CPS) data collection for March had already begun when the Census Bureau suspended in-person data collection on March 20th, 2020. Two call centers that assist with CPS data collection also closed down at this time. However, data collection continued exclusively by phone through June of 2020. In July, in-person interviews began in some areas of the country and the call centers that had been closed in March re-opened. In-person interviews were resumed in all areas of the country in September 2020 and data collection has returned to a normal routine. More information on how alternative data collection procedures affected response rates, attrition, and employment data is available on the IPUMS CPS website.

Additional COVID-related content

The COVID-19 outbreak prompted the BLS to add five questions to the monthly CPS survey about work in the time of COVID-19. These questions were first asked in May. Though the question about foregoing medical care due to the pandemic was dropped from the survey after October of 2020, all other questions will remain in the survey until further notice. Researchers may preview the questions or access the COVID-specific variables via IPUMS CPS.

IPUMS CPS will continue to update our documentation on the effects of the pandemic on CPS data collection and to make new data available as quickly as possible. Follow @ipums on Twitter for the latest updates.

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1930/31 Time Diary Data from College Educated Women in the United States

IPUMS Time Use, in partnership with Dr. Teresa Harms of the Centre for Time Use Research, is proud to announce the public release of the 1930-31 USDA College Women Time Use study. These data provide researchers a unique look into the lives of married, college-educated women at the beginning of the Great Depression. The respondents were asked to complete a detailed record of their time use for seven consecutive 24-hour periods (see a sample daily diary below; borrowed with permission from Teresa Harms, CTUR). The women described activities in their own words, listing them consecutively as they occurred throughout the day, with a minimum interval of five minutes. They also recorded the time devoted to various homemaking tasks by other household members and paid help as well as demographic and work status data and information about the household. The data also include the verbatim activity reports and the occupations the women reported at the time of data collection. All data are available via the IPUMS American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS) extract system.

Sample of a Time Use Diary page

In the 1920s, the United States Department of Agriculture conducted one of the very first American research studies into the daily lives and time use of rural and urban women across the country. In 1944, the USDA published a paper titled “The Time Costs of Homemaking: A Study of 1500 Rural and Urban Households“, which summarizes the findings from the 1500 whole-week diary records kept by homemakers over two periods: 1924-1928 and 1930-1931. The earlier group of 808 included both farm and non-farm households in open country or in towns and villages of fewer than 2500 people. The later records (1930-31) comprised of 692 married alumnae of the Seven Sisters (Barnard, Radcliffe, Vassar, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley) from the classes of 1886 to 1929. Only 75 complete time diary surveys from this latter group of college-educated women have been located in historical archives in Kansas and Maryland. Dr. Teresa Harms assumes that the remainder of the 692 are missing, the response rate was low, or many of the records were incomplete.

Harms matched over 95 percent of the names and addresses of the records from the 75 college women to US Federal Census microdata from 1920 to 1940. Variations in the spelling of family and given names and household relocations complicated the matching process, so additional sources were employed to resolve problems of identification (including birth, death, and marriage indexes; voting registers; social security numbers; city directories; military draft records; immigration and travel docu­ments; and other material, such as obituaries and newspaper articles). Learn more about Dr. Harms’ work digitizing these data and the research that she has done with them in this video.