New to IPUMS USA: The Adjust Monetary Values Feature

By Danika Brockman and the Adjust Monetary Values Team

Introducing the Adjust Monetary Values feature

The team at IPUMS is excited to introduce a brand-new extract feature, Adjust Monetary Values, which gives you the option to adjust monetary variables to constant units in the IPUMS data extract system. We know firsthand how tedious it can be to compare things like income and rent over time when you have to manually adjust for inflation. This feature allows you to request pre-adjusted monetary variables (e.g., INCWAGE) as part of your extract request! The feature is first being released on IPUMS USA, where you will be able to adjust monetary variables to 2010 dollars.

What does the Adjust Monetary Values feature do?

This feature gives you the option to adjust the monetary variables you have added to your data cart into constant dollars, so that all samples in your data cart are comparable across time for your selected monetary variables. IPUMS USA variables are adjusted to 2010 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). For more information about why the CPI-U was chosen as the pricing index for this feature, see the Monetary Adjustment Feature page.

When you add an inflation-adjusted version of a variable to your data cart, the IPUMS data extract system applies the appropriate CPI-U adjustment factor for each sample year to the variable(s) you’ve selected. Your extract will include both the original monetary variable and the inflation-adjusted monetary variable. Special codes (e.g., NIU, missing) will not be affected by the inflation adjustment. Inflation-adjusted versions of variables will assign all specialty (i.e., non-monetary) codes to a code comprised exclusively of “9’s” with a width two digits greater than the largest value in the original variable (e.g., a variable where the maximum monetary value is “8500,” would assign all specialty codes to “999999” and apply a label of “Non-monetary.”) For details on the original specialty codes and their labels, consult the documentation for the original variable on the IPUMS USA website or cross-tab the adjusted and original variables in your statistical program (note that you may want to include a qualifying if statement so you see only the non-monetary codes).

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How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted the 2020 ACS 1-year PUMS Data

By Danika Brockman and Megan Schouweiler

One of the highlights of the past IPUMS USA release was the 2020 ACS 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) file. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2020 ACS data collection and data quality, the Census Bureau did not release the standard PUMS data. Instead, they released the 2020 ACS 1-year data with experimental weights designed to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on data quality. In this blog post, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 ACS and the development of the experimental weights, and we provide some recommendations for using the 2020 ACS 1-year PUMS file.

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Data Collection and Data Quality and the Development of the Experimental Weights

The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted data collection for the 2020 ACS. All methods of data collection were either shut down or significantly reduced from March 2020 through the end of the year. Data collection for group quarters was particularly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic; in-person visits to group quarter facilities were suspended or greatly reduced from March 2020 through the end of the year, and telephone interviews were not conducted due to logistical constraints. Beyond the impacts to data collection methods, the 2020 ACS had significant variability across the 2020 data collection year in response rates for both housing units and group quarters, and had the lowest overall response rate in the history of the ACS1.

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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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