Status:Closed    Asked:May 26, 2016 - 12:01 PM

Labor force participation by county, 1950 and 1960


I am looking for labor force participation rates by county for 1950 and 1960. Do you have advice for how to find that data?

The IPUMS geographic variable selection page (link below) shows X's for COUNTY and COUNTYFIPS for 1950 and 1960, indicating availability for those variables in those years. I see now, though, that county information is not, in fact, available.

Answers to other questions posted here have been helpful. Aggregate data (at the county level) would be sufficient for me, so I've tried NHGIS. But NHGIS does not have this data for 1960. I've also tried using metro area, but that does not allow me to identify county for many households.

I believe this leaves me to manually enter data (for ~3000 counties) from scanned reports from the 1960 census. Before I try that, I wanted to ask if anybody knows if these variables are available in a database.

Many thanks for your help.

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Staff Answer




COUNTY and COUNTYFIP are available for the 1950 1% and 1960 5% samples, however not all counties can be identified (see the COUNTY codes section). NHGIS does have 1950 labor force participation by county tables but only has comparable tables for 1960 at the tract level. NHGIS is currently in the process of generating new 1960 tables based on the recently released 1960 microdata, but there is no release date for these tables at this time. I would recommend checking the Counties identifiable in the 1960 5% file. The table referenced above has not yet been updated for the 1960 5% sample, but a simple combination of STATEFIP and COUNTY for the 1960 5% dataset will provide the list of identified counties (though lables will have to be looked up on the COUNTY codes page).

I hope this helps.


Jun 02, 2016 - 11:47 AM

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