Status:Closed    Asked:Dec 09, 2015 - 12:44 PM

I meant to ask how I can calculate (or get) median WEALTH figures for each state from the 1860 census.

Trying to find the median wealth (not income) in combined real estate and personal property, in each state, for families enumerated on the 1860 census. No filters seem to produce it, but I'm not even sure what data to ask for.

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Staff Answer




It is possible to calculate median wealth by state using the IPUMS Online Data Analysis System. After selecting the 1860 1% sample, you will need to choose "Create Variables - Compute a new variable" from the dropdown menu. Then define a variable with the following syntax: wealth = persprop + realprop

Next, navigate to "Analysis - Frequencies or crosstabulation". Enter the following:
Row: wealth
Control: statefip(1-10)
Selection Filters: pernum(1)
Weight: hhwt - Household weight

Due to row restrictions, you will be unable to run all states at the same time; however, you can simply change statefip(1-10) to statefip(11-20), etc. Make sure to check the "Summary Statistics" option, which will produce a weighted median household wealth for each statefip value.

Note that there are a small number of households (approximately 2% of the sample) where a member besides the head of household owns wealth. The results generated from following the above method will not capture these persons. If you are interested in calculating a median that includes non-head of household wealth, you would need to create a microdata extract and sum wealth at the household level in a statistical package.

Hope this helps.


Dec 10, 2015 - 04:03 PM

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