New Data Release from IPUMS International – From Mexico to MOSAIC

By Lara Cleveland and Jane Lee

IPUMS International has released new data! Eighteen new census samples have been added to the collection, including data from Côte d’Ivoire, which is new to IPUMS International. Newly released census samples include Cambodia (2019), Côte d’Ivoire (1988, 1998), Denmark (1845, 1880, 1885), Laos (1995, 2015), Mexico (2020), Peru (2017), Puerto Rico (2015, 2020), Switzerland (2011), United Kingdom (1961, 1971), United States (2015, 2020) and Vietnam (2019). As always, we gratefully acknowledge the national statistical offices of all the countries partnering with IPUMS International to make data available for research.

New geography variables are also now available with harmonized migration variables at the second-administrative level; the codes for the newly released migration variables match existing IPUMS International geography codes and labels. As an example, the geographic units in the migration variable for Mexico at the municipo level (place of residence 5 years ago, MIG2_5_MX) are reconciled to the boundaries for place of current residence (GEO2_MX).

This is a map showing the 2020 census 5-year migration rates for GEO1 in Mexico, and GEO2 in Nuevo Leon state
2020 census 5-year migration rates for GEO1 in Mexico, and GEO2 in Nuevo Leon state. Map by Quinn Heimann

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2020 Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) Updates in the 2022 American Community Survey

By Natalie Mac Arthur, Senior Research Associate, SHADAC

Thank you to our collaborators at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) for contributing this blog post; view the original blog on the SHADAC website.

A Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) is a type of geographic unit created for statistical purposes. PUMAs represent geographic areas with a population size of 100,000–200,000 within a state (PUMAs cannot cross state lines). PUMAs are the smallest level of geography available in American Community Survey (ACS) microdata. They are designed to protect respondent confidentiality while simultaneously allowing analysts to produce estimates for small geographic areas.

Every ten years, the decennial census results are used to redefine ACS PUMA boundaries to account for shifts in population and continue to maintain respondent confidentiality. This process is intended to yield geographic definitions that are meaningful to many stakeholders.

Most recently, new PUMAs were created based on the 2020 Census; these 2020 PUMAs were implemented in the ACS starting in the 2022 data year. Although Public Use Microdata Area components remain consistent to the extent possible, they are updated based on census results and revised criteria. Therefore, they are not directly comparable with PUMAs from any previous ACS data years. For example, the 2020 PUMAs used in the 2022 data year are distinct from the 2010 PUMAs, which were used in the 2012–2021 ACS data years.

The 2020 PUMAs were created based on definitions that include two substantive changes relative to the 2010 PUMAs:

1) An increase in the minimum population threshold for the minimum size of partial counties from 2,400 to 10,000. Increasing the population minimum for a PUMA-county part aims to further protect the confidentiality of respondents. However, exceptions are allowed on a case-by-case basis in order to maintain the stability of PUMA definitions (that were based on the previous minimum of 2,400) and due to unique geography.

2) Allowing noncontiguous geographic areas. Allowing PUMAs to include noncontiguous geographic areas aims to avoid unnecessarily splitting up demographic groups in order to provide more meaningful data. This change is not intended to create highly fragmented PUMAs.

Other than the two changes listed above, PUMA criteria remained consistent, such as treating 100,000 as a strict minimum population size for PUMAs. The maximum population size for PUMAs can exceed a population of 200,000 in certain instances due to expected population declines or geographic constraints.

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Bivariate Proportional Symbol Maps, Part 2: Design Tips with Instructions for ArcGIS Pro

By Jonathan Schroeder, IPUMS Research Scientist, NHGIS Project Manager

How to make effective bivariate proportional symbol maps

A map of the share of population under age 18 in the Miami area in 2020. There is one colored circle for each census tract. There are five colors ranging from dark blue (representing less than 15% under age 18) to light green (representing 20 to 25% under age 18) to brown (representing 30% or more). The circle sizes correspond to tract populations. Most circles have similar sizes, representing around 1,000 to 10,000 people. The circles cluster together forming groups where there are more tracts and more people. The circles in central Miami and along the coast are bluer than elsewhere.
A bivariate proportional symbol map.
Click map for larger version.

In Part 1 of this blog series, I introduced bivariate proportional symbol maps and shared some examples to demonstrate their advantages. In short, when they’re well designed, they can make it easy to see multiple dimensions of a population all at once: size, composition, and spatial distribution.

A key part of that statement is, “when they’re well designed.” Standard mapping tools can make it easy to get started, but getting all the way to a good design still takes some extra effort.

In this Part 2 post, I discuss some key design considerations for bivariate proportional symbol maps, and I provide specific instructions to help you get to a good design.

Software considerations

I used Esri’s ArcGIS Pro to create the examples here and in Part 1. The design tips I share below should be relevant for any mapping tool, but my instructions are specifically for ArcGIS Pro (version 3.2). I expect there are ways to achieve similar designs with QGIS, R, Python, etc., quite possibly more easily than with ArcGIS Pro. I can only say that it’s easier to create effective bivariate proportional symbols now with ArcGIS Pro than it was with its predecessor ArcMap.

As I proceed, I’ll flag which instructions pertain specifically to ArcGIS Pro. All other tips are “tool neutral.”

General tip: Match size to “size” and color to “character”

When selecting which features to map, a framework that works consistently well is to use symbol color to represent an intensive property—e.g., the share of population under 18 years old, average household size, median household income, or the share of votes cast for a candidate—and use symbol size to represent the number of cases to which the intensive property pertains—e.g., the total population (when color corresponds to a population share) or the count of households (when color corresponds to average household size or median household income).

This framework enables the map to illustrate both the spatial distribution of the mapped characteristics and the frequency distribution of the intensive property—e.g., not only where a candidate received large or small vote shares but also how many votes were cast in each of those areas. Other frameworks can also work well (e.g., see the change maps in Part 1), but it’s generally very helpful if the two mapped characteristics relate to each other in a way that corresponds intuitively with “size” and “color.”

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