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Census of Population, 1880 [United States]: Public Use Sample (ICPSR 6460)

Principal Investigator(s): Ruggles, Steven; Menard, Russell R.


This data collection provides the full 1880 Public Use Sample drawn from census enumeration forms. The file contains two types of records: household and person. Each household record is followed by a record for each person in the household. This collection contains information about size of family, number of persons and families in the dwelling, and the geographic location of each household. Information on individuals includes demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and marital status, as well as occupation, health, education, and nativity.

Access Notes

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DS1:  Dataset - Download All Files (76.475 MB)

Study Description


Ruggles, Steven, and Russell R. Menard. Census of Population, 1880 [United States]: Public Use Sample. ICPSR06460-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1995. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06460.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06460.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (HD25839-04)
  • University of Minnesota. Graduate School

Scope of Study

Time Period:   

  • 1880

Date of Collection:   

  • 1880

Universe:    Manuscript census records from 1880 for the 38 United States, the District of Columbia, and the Dakota Territory.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) This dataset comprises two levels. The first level ("H" Record Type) contains 35 variables for each of 107,105 households. The second level ("P" Record Type) contains 58 variables for each of 502,913 individuals residing in those households. (2) Household records are padded with zeros in columns 112-123. (3) The documentation for this collection is available in two formats: WordPerfect 5.1 or ASCII DOS text derived from the WordPerfect file. There are two WordPerfect files, containing: (a) the main body of the codebook, Appendices A and B, and an index, and (b) Appendix C, Detailed Occupation Codes. The ASCII DOS text version includes all of these elements in a single file. Depending on printer and typesize configurations, users may encounter differences in pagination and text layout when printing the ASCII version as compared to the WordPerfect file. The WordPerfect 5.1 version of the codebook is only available on diskette and via FTP. (4) This collection supersedes CENSUS OF POPULATION, 1880 [UNITED STATES]: PUBLIC USE SAMPLE (1 IN 1000 PRELIMINARY SUBSAMPLE) (ICPSR 9474).


Sample:    This collection is a nationally representative--although clustered--1-percent sample of the United States population in 1880. The manuscript census for 1880 consisted of about 1.2 million enumeration pages, with 50 persons per page, recorded on 1,454 reels of microfilm. The sampling strategy used for this collection was based on the census page. A sample density of 1 person per 100 was chosen so that a single sample point was randomly generated for every two census pages. Sample points were chosen for inclusion in the collection only if the individual selected was the first person listed in the dwelling. Under this procedure each dwelling, family, and individual in the population had a 1-in-100 probability of inclusion in the Public Use Sample.

Data Source:

United States Bureau of the Census 1880 enumeration forms


Original ICPSR Release:   1995-03-16

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