IPUMS International


IPUMS International contains person and household level data on 94 countries from 365 censuses over time. IPUMS allows users to select specific variables they would like to analyze, such as those pertaining to employment, demographic or migration information, and provides that data for all countries and all years for which the chosen variable data is available. When extracting the data, IPUMS allows for the selection of specific samples (selecting specific countries, regions, and years for the variables chosen) and select cases (selecting specific values for the variables chosen). These features can be used to limit the file size of the extracted data and also ensure all of the data downloaded is only the data needed.*

*This description is a paraphrased version of the description on the IPUMS International website.

Available data file formats

CSV, Stata (.dta), SPSS (.sav), SAS (.sas7bdat) and fixed-width text (.dat).


This data source requires registration and login information to access the data. It is otherwise open to the public.

IPUMS International

how to retrieve data by example


Suppose you would like to access raw data on demographics, employment characteristics and income for all available countries over time from the 1970s to present. You would like to obtain the data in a CSV file, which can be used in Excel.


(Note: if you have not already registered and created an account, this must be done before any data can be downloaded.)

  • Under the heading Select Harmonized Variables, click on the Person dropdown menu to see the available variable fields. Click on Demographic.

Screenshot of IPUMS International website that displays dropdown menu options for selecting variables.

  • Add the variables Age (AGE), Sex (SEX) and Marital Status (MARST) to your cart by clicking on the plus button to the left of that variable.

Screenshot of different demographic variables for person level data that can be chosen to add to dataset cart.

  • Return to the Person dropdown menu and click on Work. On this page, add to your cart the variables Activity status (employment status) (EMPSTAT), Labor force participation (LABFORCE), Occupation, ISCO general (OCCISCO) and Hours worked per week (HRSWORK1).

Screenshot of different work variables for person level data that can be chosen to add to dataset cart.

  • Return to the person dropdown menu and click on Income. On this page, add to your cart the variables Wage and salary income (INCWAGE), Income from anti-poverty or welfare programs (INCWEL) and Source of livelihood (INCSRC).

Screenshot of different income variables for person level data that can be chosen to add to dataset cart.

  • Now that all of the desired variables have been selected and added to the cart, go to the Data Cart box at the top center and click on View Cart. You will be taken to your data cart page. Here, click on the second blue box that says “Add More Samples.”

Screenshot of data cart that shows all selected variables so far.

  • Since you would like to have this data for all available countries and years starting with the 1970s, check all of the boxes on this page except for the column that contains the 1960s variables. (Note: this can be easily done by checking the box at the top that says All Samples (select/unselect) and then unchecking the box for 1960s.) When all of the necessary boxes have been checked, click on Submit Sample Selections at the top of the page.

Screenshot of select samples screen where specific regions, countries and years can be selected or unselected to be included in the dataset.

  • The next page will again show your data cart. Notice that some variables have been preselected, meaning they are automatically included in your data cart. The remaining variables are the ones you have chosen. After ensuring the list is correct, click on Create Data Extract.

Screenshot of data cart that shows all variables that will be included in dataset, both selected and pre-selected variables for different variables and different countries.

  • The last page will show your extract request. This is where the desired data file format can be selected. To obtain a CSV data file format, click Change in the row Data Format and then, on the following page, select CSV followed by clicking Submit to return to the extract request. Describe your extract is the box provided and then click Submit Extract to download the data to your computer.

(Note: the estimated size of the data file in this scenario is quite large, and attempting to download a file of this size could create issues with your computer. To reduce the size of the file, you can choose Select Cases to limit the values of the variables selected or return to the Select Samples page to limit the years, countries or regions included in your extract.)

Screenshot of extract request that details summary of constructed dataset and options to alter samples, cases, variables, data format, structure and size of dataset before submitting extract request.

You should now have access to the raw data on demographic information, employment characteristics and income for all available countries over time from the 1970s to present.

Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. IPUMS provides a general citation for using their data, which can be seen below.

Minnesota Population Center. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International: Version 7.2 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2019. https://doi.org/10.18128/D020.V7.2