Historical Full Count Census Project

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We invite researchers at UC Berkeley to take advantage of a rich data resource. The Demography Department Computing Lab maintains a secure computing environment with access to digitized full count US Census microdata from 1790 to 1940, by agreement with the Minnesota Population Center (MPC) and Ancestry.com. This agreement provides researchers at UC Berkeley with access to the restricted data that contain actual names. The unrestricted public-use data (with no names) are available on IPUMS. Although these data are not yet harmonized and cleaned to the usual IPUMS standards, there is a great deal of immensely valuable information in this newly available data source.

The Demography Lab server houses the data and has sufficient RAM to hold several annual censuses at once. It is available to all researchers on campus, and there is a separate server for the restricted data, and also servers for the unrestricted – but very large – census files, too. We also are a community of experienced users who can get you up to speed quickly. The community of researchers meets about once per semester to share ideas and techniques.


Access to the Demography Server (for restricted and unrestricted data)


To work with our large data sets, you will need access to the Demography server. Employees (faculty, postdoc, other researchers) and all students (graduate and undergraduate) can request access. Please contact Dr. Carl Boe, cboe@berkeley.edu. to request an account. Send him the form #4 below.

Access to the Restricted Data


Employees (faculty, postdoc, other researchers) may serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) on projects. Graduate students must have a faculty sponsor.  Access ends when one ceases official connection – employment or studies – at UC Berkeley.  The process involves (1) requesting a project; (2) seeking a researcher agreement for any researchers beyond the PI who will access the secure data; and (3) campus approval for the data license.

Server location:

The access is via fc.demog.berkeley.edu. You will need both an IPUMS ID as well as authentication received from the Demography Department that you provided on your application form, below.

Requesting Access – forms and instructions:

  • Download the following forms and fill out. 
  • All of these forms must be filled out and (where necessary) signed. Please follow all instructions as forms filled out incorrectly will delay approval.
  • All information must be clearly written, and if possible typed. And all signatures must be “ink on paper; “a scan of the original ink-signed documents is acceptable. Legal contracts must be signed in ink.
  • Send a scanned copy (not a smart-phone jpg or gif, etc.) to Leora Lawton at: popcenter@demog.berkeley.edu. with the subject header Full Count Access Request.
  • Only PIs and researchers at UCB can be granted data access.
  • Graduate students must be sponsored by the PI, so the project title in their researcher agreement application must be the same as on the sponsoring PI form.
  • The last date to submit requests approval for the current calendar year is November 1. Requests received after that date will be for start-dates of January 1. All approvals are for one calendar year, and end on December 31. We will solicit your input if the project is still active during November. 
1. UMN MPC UCB IPUMS Research Project Application_BLANK
  • The Principal Investigator MUST be UC faculty, researcher, or post-doc
  • NO ONE can be a “Co-investigator” this concept is not recognized by IPIRA (the legal team at UC Berkeley for proprietary data).
  • GRAD STUDENTS and everyone else must be listed as “Additional researchers”.
  • Title of Research project is official designation must match with other forms — in particular the Researcher Agreement described below.
  • Anticipated project completion is December 31 of the current year.
2. IPUMS Full Count-Researcher Agreement.docx
  • Each researcher must complete and sign this form — including the PI even if s/he is not planning to ever touch the data
  • Research Project must match “title of research project” as listed on Research Project Application
  • Sign in ink — scan and email OK.
3.  IPIRA Data – Software Request Form 2020_Blank.doc
  • The form is partially filled please do the best you can with the rest of it.  Most often the conservative answer is the best one.

Once we receive approval from MPC, we will grant you access to the secure system.  For that we will need the next two forms signed by those who will actually access the data.

4.  Statement of compliance_- demography server (pdf)
  • This document is for a standard Demography Lab account give a secure temporary password.
  • Note that you promise not to store protected data on our server –this means servers OTHER than the secure Full Count server.
5. Agreement_Instructions for Access_FC IPUMS on data server.pdf
  • Read carefully and sign last page


  1790-1930 1940
Joshua Goldstein (Demography)Naming the Precious ChildXX
Joshua Goldstein (Demography)Immigrant Americanization and Occupational Success (completed)XX
Chris Muller (Sociology)Landownership and Racial Inequality in Education and IncomeXX
David Card (Economics)The Long-term Economic Effects of Redlining X
Joshua Goldstein (Demography)Hispanic Names, Acculturation, and HealthXX
David Card (Economics)Cliometric History of American Higher Education (completed)XX
Joshua Goldstein (Demography)Investigating mortality inequalities using Census and Social Security dataxx
Barry Eichengreen (Economics)Intergenerational effects of railroads on land pricesx 
Lee Fleming (IEOR)Instruments for Inventor mobilityx 
Christina Romer (Economics)Long Run Effects on Individuals of Labor Market Displacement (completed)x 
Abhishek Nagaraj (Law)The antecedents and consequences of new mineral discoveriesx 
Guo Xu (Law), Abhay Aneja (Haas)Black Employment in the Federal Government, 1900-1940xx
Ellora Derenoncourt (now at Princeton)The racial wealth gap, 1850-2020 (no longer active at UC Berkeley)xx
Ellen Eisen (Public Health)Social Mobility of Black Autoworkersx
Aruna Ranganathan (Haas)Early Asian Immigration to the USxx
Brad DeLong (Economics)Development of the US Economy through social, cultural, and economic lensesxx


Mailing List
Full Count Census Linkage Projects
  • CenSoc: Estimating Mortality with 1940 Full Count Census and Social Security Death Records.
  • The Census Linking Project allows researchers to create longitudinal datasets from historical US Census records (1850-1940) in order to study processes that unfold over time.


  1. February 2020: Mini-Conference on Complete Count and Data Linkages #2 <link to download of program>
  2. Workshop on Complete Census Count Data and Record Linkage Techniques from Berkeley Population Sciences on Vimeo
  3. December 2015: Mini Conference on the Complete Count Census and Record Linkage #1
  4. Presentation July 24, 2018: “Access to Innovation: Utilizing the Census Bureau Data Linkage Infrastructure for Evidence-Based Research” by Scott Boggess, U.S. Census Bureau, Evidence Building Staff, Economic Reimbursable