Big Microdata for Population Research

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69 Scopus citations


This article describes an explosion in the availability of individual-level population data. By 2018, demographic researchers will have access to over 2 billion records of accessible microdata from over 100 countries, dating from 1703 to the present. Another 2 to 4 billion records will be available through restricted-access data enclaves. These new resources represent a new kind of data that will enable transformative research on demographic and economic change and the spatial organization of society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data described in this article are supported by grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation (ACI 0940818, SES 0851414, SES 0851417, and SES 1155572) and the National Institutes of Health (R01 HD073967, R01 AG041831, R01 HD047283, R01 HD052110, R24 HD41023, R01 HD060676, R01 HD047283, R01 HD041575, R01 HD044154, and R01 HD43392). My thanks for the helpful comments and suggestions of Catherine Fitch, Miriam King, Robert McCaa, and anonymous reviewers.


  • Big data
  • Censuses
  • Microdata


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