Photo of Steven Ruggles
Steven Ruggles

Steven Ruggles

2009 Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences

Steven Ruggles is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and the Director of the Minnesota Population Center. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. His academic specialties include U.S. census research, U.S. social history, historical demography, and history of the family.

Christened "The King of Quant" by Wired Magazine in 2003, Steve has emerged as one of the most widely known historical demographers in the world. Colleagues describe him as a "scholar of astonishing breadth of knowledge and productivity whose work has reshaped the field of historical demography and has had a profound effect on the fields of sociology, economics and history."

Steve has helped raise approximately $65 million in research funds to create, improve and disseminate population data. At the Minnesota Population Center, he and his team have collected, coded, computerized, systematized and delivered to scholars the individual records of millions of Americans going back to 1850. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series or IPUMS is considered one of the most valuable databases of all time and has made the University of Minnesota one of the largest social science data distributors in the world.

Steve's talent for entrepreneurship has resulted in a diversified set of resources for demographic research:

  • IPUMS International, harmonized data for 1960 forward, covering 279 million people in 130 censuses from around the world
  • IPUMS USA, harmonized data on people in the U.S. census and American Community Survey, from 1850 to the present
  • IPUMS CPS, harmonized data on people in the Current Population Survey, every March from 1962 to the present
  • North Atlantic Population Project, complete-count data from the 1800s censuses of Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S.
  • National Historic Geographic Information System, tabular U.S. census data and GIS boundary files from 1790 to 2000
  • Integrated Health Interview Series, annual harmonized data on people in the U.S. National Health Interview Survey from the 1960s to the present
  • American Time Use Survey, annual harmonized data from 2003 forward on how U.S. adults divide their time among activities

Steve is also known as an extraordinary teacher who has had a profound impact on undergraduate and graduate education.