Census Technology, Politics, and Institutional Change 1790-2020

February 4, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Professor of History and Director, Minnesota Population Center
University of Minnesota
Speaker Biographies: 

Steven Ruggles is Regents Professor of History and Population Studies at the University of Minnesota, and the Director of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation.[1] He is best known as the creator of IPUMS, the world's largest population database. He served as founding Director of the Minnesota Population Center from 2000 to 2016.

Ruggles received his Ph.D in historical demography from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984.[2] In 1995, Ruggles was described as the "King of Quant" by Wired Magazine.[3] Ruggles has made important contributions to the study of long run demographic changes, focusing especially on changes in the family. His study of the effects of demographic change on family structure [4] won the William J. Goode Book Award from the American Sociological Association and the Allen Sharlen Memorial Award from the Social Science History Association.[2] Ruggles's work on migration censoring in family reconstitution [5] led to an extended debate about biases introduced by the "Ruggles Effect." [6] The method Ruggles proposed for correcting censoring bias in family reconstitution estimates of mortality was eventually determined to be more accurate than any of the alternative techniques that have been proposed.[7]

In 2003, Ruggles received the Robert J. Lapham Award from the Population Association of America in recognition of lifetime contributions that blend research with the application of demographic knowledge to policy issues,[8] and in 2009 he received the Warren E. Miller Award from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research for meritorious service to the social sciences.[9] He served as the 2015 President of the Population Association of America, the first historian to hold the position.[10] He is currently President of the Association of Population Centers [11] and Vice-President (President-Elect) of the Social Science History Association.

103 McNeil