J. Trent Alexander

Feasibility Studies for Digitizing and Linking the 1960-1990 U.S. Censuses

Research Project Description

This project will assess the feasibility of digitizing individual names from the U.S. decennial censuses of 1960 through 1990 and linking those Censuses to modern datasets. The Census Bureau has complete microdata files for all of these Censuses, with the exception of the 1960 Census ?short form? (which was stored on degraded media). The current barrier to linking these files over time is that respondent names were not digitized as a part of the original Census processing. Respondent names are only available as handwritten entries on microfilmed manuscripts held at the Census Bureau. This project will produce detailed reports assessing the feasibility, best methods, and cost estimates for four activities: (1) digitization of individual names from the censuses of 1960 through 1990, (2) the use of recovered names to link those files over time and to modern records, (3) the use of ancillary data to add dependents to IRS Form 1040 files from 1969 through 1989, and (4) the use of the enriched IRS Form 1040 data to facilitate ?nameless? address-based matches between 1990 Census data and the 1989 tax records.

Stanford University

Funding Period: 7/1/2018 to 2/28/2019

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