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This Census Tree

This Census Tree is the largest-ever database of record links among the historical U.S. censuses, with over 700 million links for people living in the United States between 1850 and 1940. The Census Tree includes 314 million census-to-census links for women, and 41 million links for Black Americans. The links in the Census Tree will enable promising research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. For example, linked census data can be used to measure the intergenerational transmission of wealth or education, to estimate the long-term impacts of childhood circumstances, and to document trends in family formation. Because the Census tree is large and highly representative of the population, researchers will be able to include small or under-represented groups in work that has excluded them in the past. In practical terms, the Census Tree database is a set of crosswalks between the IPUMS versions of the 1850-1940 full-count decennial censuses. Our “Get the Data” page will direct you to the ICPSR repositories that host the crosswalks. In a breakthrough for social sciences research, nearly half of the Census Tree links are for women. And because the Census Tree contains an unprecedented number of links, it includes large samples of people from underrepresented groups, including 41.5 million Black Americans.”

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