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Old Age in the United States, 1900

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Jensen, Richard
  • Smith, Daniel Scott
  • Friedberger, Mark W.
  • Dahlin, Michel R.
  • Reiff, Janice
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging
Free Keywords
aging; aging population; census data; demographic characteristics; families; family structure; household composition; occupations; older adults; social environment; social life
  • Abstract

    This data collection describes the social conditions of the older population of the United States at the turn of the century. Detailed information, extracted from the 1900 United States Census manuscript schedules, is provided on household composition and family structure for each sampled older person. Ecological characteristics of the county of residence, e.g., the percentage of the county's population that is foreign born, are provided for most sampled older persons. In addition, occupational and ethnic characteristics of family heads appearing on the same sampled census page as the older person (on census pages grouped by street location) are reported.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Main Data File
    • DS2: SAS Proc Format for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS3: SAS Input for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS4: SAS Labels for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS5: SAS Missing Value Recode for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS6: SAS Format for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS7: SAS Proc Format for Card Image Data
    • DS8: SAS Input for Card Image Data
    • DS9: SAS Labels for Card Image Data
    • DS10: SAS Missing Value Recode for Card Image Data
    • DS11: SAS Format for Card Image Data
    • DS12: SPSS Data List for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS13: SPSS Value Labels for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS14: SPSS Missing Value Recode for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS15: SPSS Variable Labels for OSIRIS/LRECL Data
    • DS16: SPSS Data List for Card Image Data
    • DS17: SPSS Value Labels for Card Image Data
    • DS18: SPSS Missing Value Recode for Card Image Data
    • DS19: SPSS Variable Labels for Card Image Data
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1900
  • 1976 / 1978
    Collection date: 1976--1978
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 55 and older in 1900.
Stratified sample of 56 counties (excluding cities with populations of 25,000 or more) and 44 urban Primary Sampling Units (PSUs). Cities with populations over 25,000 were triple-sampled. Sample members were drawn from clusters defined by manuscript census pages.
Collection Mode
  • Age distribution: 55-64 (N is 2,002), 65-74 (N is 2,203), 75-84 (N is 690), 85 and older (N is 108). The values for the weighting variable "Weighting Factor II" are incorrect. The SPSS statements that will correctly weight the sample are given in the codebook.

Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (AG00350-02).
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8428 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Dahlin, Michel. Perspectives on the family life of the elderly in 1900. Gerontologist.20, (1), 99-107.1980.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/20.1.99 (DOI)
  • Smith, Daniel Scott. Life course, norms, and the family system of older Americans in 1900. Journal of Family History.4, (3), 285-298.1979.
    • ID: 10.1177/036319907900400303 (DOI)
  • Smith, Daniel Scott. A Community-Based Sample of the Older Population from the 1880 and 1900 United States Manuscript Census. Historical Methods.11, (2), 67-74.1978.
    • ID: 10.1080/01615440.1978.9955220 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Jensen, Richard; Smith, Daniel Scott; Friedberger, Mark W.; Dahlin, Michel R.; Reiff, Janice (1985): Old Age in the United States, 1900. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.