Searching by state, occupation, race

I have been searching in one state for a specific occupation (two, actually) and by race, and my data set continues to return nothing but the column headings. However, I know that there were people who would have been counted in the census that fits within these categories. I am searching 1950s census. Any ideas about how to proceed to correct what must be my error(s)? Thanks.

I took a look at your most recent IPUMS USA extract, and I see that it is an extract from the 1% sample of the 1950 decennial census. This sample includes only 1% of the records in the full 1950 census. There are zero person records in the sample that match the criteria you specified using the select cases feature: STATEFIP=53 and RACED=200 and OCC1950=(071 or 075). If you use the full count 1950 census data instead, which are also available from IPUMS USA, there are a total of six person records meeting those three criteria. There may have been more African American doctors in Washington in the 1950 census who are not identifiable using these filters; there are over 5 million individuals with OCC1950 “not yet classified” and some of these could be doctors. When someone’s occupation is coded as “not yet classified” in historical data, it usually means their occupation response was unclear, illegible, or a very low frequency (rare) occupation that IPUMS has not yet coded. This forum post provides more information on the “not yet classified” code in occupation.

Isabel, thank you so much. I appreciate your time and your sleuthing, and your experienced eye.I am new to this, and I am astounded at how what should have been a simple error for me to spot did not catch my attention. I will make the adjustment right away, and I will recommence my searches for the other time periods, too. I also appreciate the great advice on the “not yet classified”; indeed, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 data (which I gleaned from combing through the reports generated by the U.S. Census Bureau in the years immediately following each of those censuses) had very low numbers as well.On the one hand, there are systemic reasons to expect very low numbers. On the other hand, this bit of additional information concerning “not yet classified” will be very good to fold in to my work. I am so happy to have found IPUMS USA!

In any event, thank you so very much. Lisa