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Boston Mobility Study, 1880 (ICPSR 7550)

Principal Investigator(s): Thernstrom, Stephen


This study was conducted to examine patterns of social mobility in Boston, Massachusetts. It contains individual-level demographic information such as amount of property, occupation, location of residence, and income at ten year intervals. It also contains a derived measure of intergenerational prestige mobility.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Thernstrom, Stephen. Boston Mobility Study, 1880. ICPSR07550-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-05. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07550.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07550.v2

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    biographical data, census data, social mobility

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Neighborhood

Geographic Coverage:    Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1880--1930

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Population of Boston, Massachusetts.


Sample:    The study consists of a sample base of data drawn from the 1880 United States census and a longitudinal extension through 1930, by decade, of selected variables. The extension was drawn from the Boston City Directory, marriage records in 1910, and birth records in 1930.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    The data are not weighted, and there are no weight variables in the data.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

Version History:

  • 2015-05-05 The SPSS setup files were updated to conform to current standards. SAS and Stata setup files, as well as SPSS and Stata system files, a SAS transport (CPORT) file, a R data file, a tab-delimited data file, and a PDF codebook have been added to the collection.

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