Issue with MLP Linked Data Downloads

I am trying to download census information on population in Omaha, Nebraska from 1860-1940. I am working on my dissertation, which is on retail decentralization in Omaha, Nebraska. I am trying to compare population movement from 1860-2020. Since Omaha did not have census tracts designated until 1950, I know I need to use individual population data before 1950 and convert the population to blocks and tracts… I tried downloading MLP Linked Data downloads, but keep getting a blank excel sheet when I try to open up the data after it has been extracted. I was using 1930-1940 as a model. What can I do to fix this problem? Or am I going at it from the wrong way? Thank you.

Excel typically only allows for a bit over 1 million rows, which is significantly less than the number of observations contained in the MLP linked datasets. This is likely the cause of the error. These datasets are instead intended to be used in Stata to link observations across two or more full count files. This user guide explains how to implement the linking procedure and includes sample Stata code at the bottom of the page. The IPUMS USA team is working on adding an option to download longitudinal files directly from the extract system in the future, but I don’t have a timetable for when this will be implemented.

As for converting pre-1950 individual population microdata, the variable ENUMDIST (enumeration district) is the smallest geographic identifier available in all of the 100% samples starting from 1880. You should be able to find maps for Omaha’s Census enumeration districts from other sources online such as,, and

Thank you!