Census Microdata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Census microdata provide individual-level information describing the characteristics of persons, families, and households. Compared with conventional aggregate-level census data, microdata offer several advantages, including the ability to customize tabulations, construct new variables based on combining characteristics of family members, conduct individual-level multivariate analysis, and make data comparable across time and space. Limitations of census microdata vary depending on the source, but include suppression of detailed information to ensure confidentiality, limited sample size, and the need for specialized statistical software. Census microdata have existed since the 1960s, but vast new data sets are becoming available for social science research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Big data
  • Census
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
  • Microdata
  • North Atlantic Population Project (NAPP)
  • Population data
  • Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF)
  • Samples of Anonymized Records (SARs)


Dive into the research topics of 'Census Microdata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this