Does IPUMS-USA add value to the data?
IPUMS data is integrated over time and across samples by assigning uniform codes to variables. This process itself adds value to the data by fully documenting all codes and compiling all variable documentation in a hyperlinked web format. But we do many other things as well:
IPUMS creates a consistent set of constructed variables on family interrelationships for all samples. The “pointer” variables indicate the location within the household of every person’s mother, father, and spouse.
IPUMS data also includes harmonized income and occupation variables. The Census Bureau has reorganized its occupational and industrial classification systems in almost every census administered since 1850. Although IPUMS retains the original occupation and industry codes, a variety of occupation and industry variables have been created for long-term analysis. More information on these variables can be found on the Occupation and Industry Variables page.