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Explanation of IPUMS-DHS [message #8689] Wed, 02 December 2015 08:57 Go to previous message
boyle014 is currently offline  boyle014
Messages: 78
Registered: December 2015
Location: Minneapolis
Senior Member
IPUMS-DHS ( is a new tool to help researchers use the DHS to study issues over time and across countries. Created at the Minnesota Population Center, with the support of ICF International, USAID, and NICHD, IPUMS-DHS eliminates the need to download and merge or append multiple DHS files. Instead, researchers select the variables, countries and years of interest to them, and create a single, customized dataset within minutes. The tool is completely free to users.

Currently, IPUMS-DHS includes surveys from Egypt, India, and many African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It allows researchers to select WOMEN or CHILDREN as their unit of analysis and includes more than 2000 variables, including geographic variables that are harmonized over time and a number of variables that, with the regular DHS, would require downloading and merging the separate HR (household) files.

Anyone can browse the variables in IPUMS-DHS, where it is easy to identify comparability issues, such as universe or question wording differences across surveys. To download a dataset, users need to login using their DHS usernames and passwords. They will have access to data from the countries for which they are registered through The DHS Program.

If the tool does not currently include the variables or surveys that most interest you, please check back. New countries, units of analysis, and variables will be added annually. The next update is scheduled for March 2016. It will add three more African countries, BIRTHS as a unit of analysis, anthropometric information for children, and many other variables.

Professor Elizabeth Boyle
Sociology & Law, University of Minnesota, USA
Principal Investigator, IPUMS-DHS
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