Download IPUMS Samples

Samples of the United States population censuses of 1850-2000 are available via the IPUMS extract system. Users needing a complete dataset should register for the extract system and simply request all variables from any given year or years. Below we have provided links to IPUMS datasets that are not available via the extraction system.

  • 1900 "Preston" sample data file (ip19002.dat) and command files for SPSS (ip19002.sps), SAS (, and Stata ( and ip19002.dct).

    This 1-in-760 sample was first produced by Samuel Preston and Robert Higgs at the University of Washington in 1980. The core data is also available as ICPSR dataset 7825. The version above is different from the one available at ICPSR, however, in that our version has been made to be compatible with the other IPUMS datasets. Variable names and labels are generally identical to those in the current 1900 IPUMS sample, as are all of the IPUMS family inter-relationship variables. When we released our own 1-in-100 sample from the 1900 census, we retired the IPUMS version of the 1900 Preston sample from the IPUMS extract system. We provide it here for users who might need to replicate earlier analyses.

  • Oversamples of Alaskan, Hawaiian, and American Indian Populations in 1900

    NOTE: with the exception of several variables particular to the Alaskan, Hawaiian, and American Indian schedules, the data below is now available via the IPUMS extract system. Request the 1900 1% sample with oversamples.

    The Minnesota Population Center created these 20% samples of the populations of Alaska, Hawaii, and the American Indian population. All populations were enumerated on special schedules, each of which contained several unique questions. These datasets were produced as part of the project to create a new 1900 1-in-100 general sample. Subsets of each of the three oversamples were included in the 1900 general sample.

    American Indian Oversample:
    codebook, data, and SPSS command file
    Alaskan and Hawaiian Oversamples:
    codebook, data (Alaska and Hawaii), and SPSS command files (Alaska and Hawaii)

  • 1850-1860 Slave Samples

  • In both 1850 and 1860, the United States census contained two population schedules. Schedule 1 enumerated details of the free population, while Schedule 2 enumerated details of the slave population. Samples from Schedule 1 of the 1850 and 1860 censuses are available via the IPUMS extract system. The Public Use Microdata Samples of the slave population provide the first nationally-representative samples of Schedule 2, the Census of Slave Inhabitants.

Notes on uncompressing the sample files

IPUMS files are available only as compressed ASCII--various utilities are capable of uncompressing the files.