Merging census full count databases with other databases


Recent research has used the name fields in the complete census to match individuals from the census database to other databases. For instance, Ager et al. (2021) match the names of slaveholders in the slave census to individuals in the 1860 census. Another recent example is Aizer et al. (2016) who use the census to match individuals to a database of recipients of cash transfers that they construct.

Ipums International has these name fields for censuses until 1910, which would work for me. However, when I am registering to access census data in Ipums International, it mentions that “Any attempt to ascertain the identity of persons or households from the microdata is prohibited.”. Does this imply that trying to match individuals to other databases by name is prohibited when using Ipums International data and only allowed when applying to restricted data through IPUMS Restricted Data?

Thank you,

Since people very rarely request only US census data from IPUMS International, we do not include this caveat in our terms of use. The historical data from IPUMS International that include explicit identifiers (e.g., names) may indeed be used to identify individuals for scholarly research and educational purposes; they are not to be used for commercial purposes or genealogical research.