Big data: Large-scale historical infrastructure from the Minnesota Population Center

Matthew Sobek, Lara Cleveland, Sarah Flood, Patricia Kelly Hall, Miriam L. King, Steven Ruggles, Matthew Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) provides aggregate data and microdata that have been integrated and harmonized to maximize crosstemporal and cross-spatial comparability. All MPC data products are distributed free of charge through an interactive Web interface that enables users to limit the data and metadata being analyzed to samples and variables of interest to their research. In this article, the authors describe the integrated databases available from the MPC, report on recent additions and enhancements to these data sets, and summarize new online tools and resources that help users to analyze the data over time. They conclude with a description of the MPC's newest and largest infrastructure project to date: a global population and environment data network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalHistorical Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data infrastructure projects at the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation: ATUS-X (University of Maryland, R01 HD053654; University of Minnesota, Z195701), IHIS (5 R01 HD046697), IPUMS-USA (1 R01 HD043392), IPUMS-International (5 R01 HD052110); and NHGIS (BCS 0648045).


  • ATUS
  • CPS
  • IHIS
  • Minnesota Population Center
  • NAPP
  • census data
  • survey microdata


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