Matthew Sobek

Director of Data Integration
PDF icon Curriculum Vitae (172.76 KB)

Research Interests and Project Expertise

Occupational Structure; Demographic Data Infrastructure; Historical Census Data; International Census Data


I began working with population microdata in the 1990s and co-authored the first full version of IPUMS with Steven Ruggles in 1997. I wrote my PhD dissertation on historical occupational structure using the integrated U.S. census data. After completing my doctoral work, I went to the University of California, Riverside to become managing editor of the five-volume Millennial Edition of the Historical Statistics of the United States.

I returned to Minnesota in 2001 to manage a new international census data project, which became the world's largest population microdata collection: IPUMS International. I have since had a hand in numerous census and survey data integration projects, and am currently a Principal Investigator on six NIH infrastructure grants. My most recent work has been methodological and oriented toward improving and documenting the IPUMS infrastructure.

Selected Publications

Sobek, Matthew. 2016. "Data Prospects: IPUMS-International." In Michael White, ed., International Handbook of Migration and Population Distribution. New York: Springer, 157-174.

Sobek, Matthew et al. 2011. "Big Data: Large-Scale Historical Infrastructure from the Minnesota Population Center." Historical Methods 44: 61-68.

Esteve, Albert, and Matthew Sobek. 2003. "Challenges and Methods of International Census Harmonization." Historical Methods 36: 66-70.