How to use extract tool for minute by minute breakdowns



I have spent ~15 hours this week trying to figure out how to pull the data I want from the extract tool, but am entirely unable to do so.

Visualizations like Nathan Yau’s famous U.S. Time Use and this team’s take on the same viz illustrate, minute by minute, how individuals spend their day.

Nathan specifically states he got his data set by using the extract tool. I’ve went through the variable creator and the various tutorials and help guides, but I cannot, at all, find any way to get data for a variable on a minute by minute basis. The closest I can get is using the variable creator to look at 30 minute windows from 4am onwards for each variable of interest.

Is this the only way I could obtain a similar data set used to produce those visualizations?

Thanks in advance for any help or guidance.


There is not an easy way to pull minute-by-minute data directly from the IPUMS Time Use data extract system. Rather, after pulling the data from IPUMS, you’ll need to transform the data into minute-by-minute format using manipulations performed in any statistical software. Each activity has an associated START and STOP time. These variables tell you what each individual in the data reports doing at any time of the day. You can then use these variables to create your minute-by-minute data set.