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Socioeconomic indicators for Functional Urban Regions in the United States, 1820-1970 (ICPSR 7509)

Principal Investigator(s): Warner, Sam Bass Jr.; Fleisch, Sylvia


This study provides social, demographic, and economic data on the United States population compiled from ICPSR holdings of county-level census materials and enhanced with information obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the United States Department of Commerce. County-level socioeconomic indicators were aggregated and reported for 171 functional urban regions encompassing the entire contiguous United States. These regions, established in the early 1960s by BEA, comprise whole counties surrounding a central Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area node that served as a recipient location of work commuting or a center of newspaper circulation, wholesale trade, or banking transactions. Total population counts, proportions of adults, males, African-Americans, and foreign-born, measures of population change, number of persons per household, and per capita values of manufactured and farm products are listed for census years between 1820-1970. For some years, data on per capita income were obtained from BEA publications. The study also includes derived measures computed by the principal investigators, such as logarithmic values of population totals, Z-scores of most of the basic indicators, and measures of decadal population growth for each region normalized by the rate of population growth for the nation as a whole. A description of the methods employed in computing these variables, as well as a report of the initial analysis using these data, is found in Sam Bass Warner, Jr. and Sylvia Fleisch, "The Past of Today's Present: A Social History of America's Metropolises, 1960-1860," JOURNAL OF URBAN HISTORY 3,1 (November 1976), 3-118.

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Study Description


Warner, Sam Bass, Jr., and Sylvia Fleisch. SOCIOECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR FUNCTIONAL URBAN REGIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1820-1970. Compiled by Sam Bass Warner, Jr. and Sylvia Fleisch, Boston University. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 2001. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07509.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07509.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adults, African Americans, census data, commodities, counties, economic behavior, foreign born, income, males, nineteenth century, population characteristics, population growth, populations, products, socioeconomic indicators, twentieth century, urban areas, vital statistics

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1820--1970

Universe:    The population of the United States between 1820-1970.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data, and aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Data Source:

United States censuses, 1820-1970

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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

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