China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset, Liaoning (CMGPD-LN), 1749-1909 (ICPSR 27063)

Version Date: Sep 6, 2016 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
James Z. Lee, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. School of Humanities and Social Science; Cameron D. Campbell, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


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The China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset - Liaoning (CMGPD-LN) is drawn from the population registers compiled by the Imperial Household Agency (neiwufu) in Shengjing, currently the northeast Chinese province of Liaoning, between 1749 and 1909. It provides 1.5 million triennial observations of more than 260,000 residents from 698 communities. The population mainly consists of immigrants from North China who settled in rural Liaoning during the early eighteenth century, and their descendants. The data provide socioeconomic, demographic, and other characteristics for individuals, households, and communities, and record demographic outcomes such as marriage, fertility, and mortality. The data also record specific disabilities for a subset of adult males. Additionally, the collection includes monthly and annual grain price data, custom records for the city of Yingkou, as well as information regarding natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and earthquakes. This dataset is unique among publicly available population databases because of its time span, volume, detail, and completeness of recording, and because it provides longitudinal data not just on individuals, but on their households, descent groups, and communities.

Lee, James Z., and Campbell, Cameron D. China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset, Liaoning (CMGPD-LN), 1749-1909. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-06.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD057175), Shanghai Jiao Tong University. School of Humanities, University of California-Los Angeles. California Center for Population Research, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. School of Humanities and Social Science

Chinese banners (8)

This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, some data files in this collection are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain these restricted files, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1749 -- 1909
1985 -- 2009
  1. Preparation of the CMGPD-LN dataset and documentation for public release via ICPSR DSDR was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), grant R01HD057175 "Multi-Generation Family and Life History Panel Dataset", with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  2. There was no R file produced for the Kinship dataset due to a memory issue that could not be resolved. If you are an R user, it is recommended that you download the data in a different format and use the package 'foreign' to import the data file.

  3. The Disability and Position supplements are intended to be merged with the Analytic dataset using the variables DATASET, DISABILITY_CODE, POSITION_CODE, and POSITION_2_CODE.


Possible applications of the dataset include the study of relationships between demographic behavior, family organization, and socioeconomic status across the life course and across generations, the influence of region and community on demographic outcomes, and development and assessment of quantitative methods for the analysis of complex longitudinal datasets.

The data are from 725 surviving triennial registers from 29 distinct populations. Each of the 29 register series corresponded to a specific rural population concentrated in a small number of neighboring villages. These populations were affiliated with the Eight Banner civil and military administration that the Qing state used to govern northeast China as well as some other parts of the country. 16 of the 29 populations are regular bannermen. In these populations adult males had generous allocations of land from the state, and in return paid an annual fixed tax to the Imperial Household Agency, and provided to the Imperial Household Agency such home products as homespun fabric and preserved meat, and/or such forest products as mushrooms. In addition, as regular bannermen they were liable for military service as artisans and soldiers which, while in theory an obligation, was actually an important source of personal revenue and therefore a political privilege. 8 of the 29 populations are special duty banner populations. As in the regular banner population, the adult males in the special duty banner populations also enjoyed state allocated land free of rent. These adult males were also assigned to provide special services, including collecting honey, raising bees, fishing, picking cotton, and tanning and dyeing. The remaining populations were a diverse mixture of estate banner and servile populations. The populations covered by the registers, like much of the population of rural Liaoning in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, were mostly descendants of Han Chinese settlers who came from Shandong and other nearby provinces in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in response to an effort by the Chinese state to repopulate the region.

Village, Individual, Household

The data are drawn from population registers.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Lee, James Z., and Cameron D. Campbell. China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset, Liaoning (CMGPD-LN), 1749-1909. ICPSR27063-v10. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-06.

2016-09-06 2016-09-06 The Training Guide has been updated to version 3.60. Additionally, the Principal Investigator affiliation has been corrected, and cover sheets for all PDF documents have been revised.

2014-07-10 Releasing new study level documentation that contains the tables found in the appendix of the Analytic dataset codebook.

2014-06-10 The data and documentation have been updated following re-evaluation.

2014-01-29 Fixing variable format issues. Some variables that were supposed to be string were numeric in Parts 1 and 3.

2013-08-21 Question text was added to Parts 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 in order to include additional information about the data's historical context, Chinese language terminology, and collection methods.

2012-11-27 The User Guide and Training Guide were updated.

2012-11-21 Parts 1 and 3 were updated, and parts 7 through 11 were added. Specifically, part 1 was updated to correct a problem with the "Zu-zhang" variable, and other variables associated with positions and statuses may have experienced minor changes. Part 3 was updated to add the "position_2_code" variable. The new parts added include the Position 2 Supplement data (Part 7), Monthly Grain Prices data (Part 8), Annual Grain Prices Data (Part 9), Yingkou Custom Records (Part 10), and Natural Disasters data (Part 11). Finally, the user guide was updated to reflect the aforementioned changes, and an additional documentation file ("Training Guide") was added.

2011-09-02 Two parts are being added, Disability and Position. This release will also include updates to the Analytic and Kinship files.

2011-06-27 The Analytic and Kinship datasets were added to the study, along with 2 tables regarding disabilities and positions.

2011-03-16 The User Guide has been updated.

2011-02-07 The User Guide has been updated, and the Restrictions field was updated.

2011-01-12 The Restricted dataset was added, along with a location translation table document.

2010-12-03 The user guide has been updated.

2010-10-01 An updated version of the user guide has been added, as well as an updated version of the ICPSR codebook.

2010-08-25 A User Guide has been added to this study.

2010-08-17 The study title, principal investigator information, summary, and sampling fields have been updated.

2010-06-22 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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.