The easiest way to use this site

If you didn’t see the video, this site might be a little confusing.  It’s only been live for a couple of days, as time goes on I’m sure I’ll explain things more clearly.

All you need to do is pick the data items that you are interested in, then add them to the shopping cart, then checkout.  Your custom tabulation will be emailed to you.  Seems easy, right?

The (minor) difficulty is that there are nearly 500 different data items that you can use (492 at this moment) to analyze the PUMS data, so paging through product lists is cumbersome.  That’s a good problem to have – there are a lot of choices which add up to making it easier to get what you really need, not what someone else wants to give you.

Here’s how to do it:  Get this data dictionary from the census bureau.  Look through it until you find the data items that you want.  In the upper right hand corner of this site, use the ‘search’ function to find the data items that you want, and add them to the cart (this is way easier than paging through product lists!).

Remember these things that aren’t in the data dictionary:

PWGTP and WGTP are weighted person and household counts that will give you replicates (high and low values)

PWGTPNR and WGTPNR are just the weighted counts – no high and low values (NR means no replicates)

If you’re not using a State dimension and you want to separate the Puerto Rico data, use H_USA_PR as a dimension (it’s free).  If you are using a State dimension, Puerto Rico will be in it’s own category anyway.

The _D, _V, _VA, _VW, and _VWA data items are explained in this post.

“PEOPLE” is an unweighted person count.

“UW_HDRS” is an unweighted headers (either households or group quarters) count.

“PL_WGTP” is a weighted household count at the person level.

“HSERIALNO_YR” is a dimension that will give you the year (2009-2013).

There are a few data items that are household level items, but the census bureau has placed them on both the household and person records, and given them both the same name.  This is a good strategy if you have to analyze people and households separately, but if you can analyze both levels simultaneously, it creates a naming conflict.  The ones to be aware of are ST, PUMA00, and PUMA10.  I have included them on both records for completeness, though I can’t see any valid reason to use the person level items when you can use the household level ones (which will show in both the household and person levels in the tabulation).  They had to be renamed to eliminate the conflict, and are now called HST, PST, HPUMA00, PPUMA00, HPUMA10, PPUMA10.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *