a variable for the total number of population by metro and ethnicity


Hello, I need to find the total number of population (not the total number of respondent) by metro and ethnicity but I don’t know which variable in the ipums I should include in the data for getting the total number of population or a specific ethnic group by metarea. Could you help me with this?



If you are interested in total population summary tables of specific metro areas and/or ethnicities, the NHGIS project, which is also housed in the Minnesota Population Center, offers many of the official Census tables going back to 1790 at several geographic levels. While NHGIS is primarily focused on mapping data, the summary tables can be extracted independent of shape files as .csv files with optional descriptive headers. Additionally, the Census’ American FactFinder site is another source for Census tables.

IPUMS-USA provides microdata, which can be used to estimate population totals. In order to estimate the total population, as opposed to the number of respondents, you will need to weight the samples by PERWT. The weight multiplies each observation by a certain factor in order to scale the sample up to a population estimate. You can compare your results with the official Census tables mentioned above to check that your estimates are close to the official estimates.

It is possible to create metro area population estimates from the microdata, but since defining metro areas is imperfect, these estimates will be subject to error. You can read more about the difficulty of identifying metro areas here, e.g. areas that straddle metro area boundaries are coded as “not identifiable” in METAREA. For reference, the metro area variables are METAREA and MET2013. You can find race/ethnicity variable(s) here.

I hope this helps.