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Agricultural and Demographic Records of 21,118 Rural Households Selected from the 1860 Manuscript Censuses (ICPSR 9117)

Principal Investigator(s): Bateman, Fred; Foust, James D.


Demographic, occupational and economic information for over 21,000 rural households in the northern United States in 1860 is provided in this dataset. The data were obtained from the manuscript agricultural and population schedules of the 1860 United States Census. Variables include farm values, livestock inventories, and crop production figures for the households that owned or operated farms (over half the households in the study), as well as values of real and personal estate, color, sex, age, literacy, school attendance, occupation, place of birth, and parents' nationality of all individuals residing in the sampled households.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

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Study Description


Bateman, Fred, and James D. Foust. Agricultural and Demographic Records of 21,118 Rural Households Selected from the 1860 Manuscript Censuses. ICPSR09117-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1989. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09117.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09117.v1

Export Citation:

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


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (AS-27143)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    agriculture, census data, crop production, demographic characteristics, households, livestock inventories, nineteenth century, rural areas

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1860

Universe:    956 counties in 20 northern states

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

In this hierarchical dataset each household has three separate record types. There is one "A" record per household, containing farm and livestock statistics, . Each household has one or more "B" records, which provide information on crop production, and one or more "C" records, containing demographic information on household members. For the total sample of 21,118 households, there are three or more records per case, depending on the number of "B" and "C" records for a given household. There are 16 variables for the "A" records, a maximum of approximately 77 variables for the "B" records, and a minimum of five variables for the "C" records. An earlier version of this collection, AGRICULTURAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC RECORDS FOR RURAL HOUSEHOLDS IN THE NORTH, 1860 (ICPSR 7420), is available in rectangular format.


Sample:    A two-stage variable-cluster sample design was used. A random sample of 102 counties in 16 northern states was drawn. From each of these counties one nonurban township was randomly selected. Census records from all households in the selected townships were included in the study.

Data Source:

United States Manuscript Censuses, 1860


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-05-04

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