Downloading IPUMS-DHS Contextual Variables

The global cluster data on contextual variables describe features of the physical and social environment surrounding the location where a DHS respondent was interviewed. Data are included for ALL GPS clusters released by The DHS Program as of February 2021; this includes samples that are not yet available in IPUMS-DHS.

So far there have been three releases of the contextual variables, 2017, 2019, and 2021. A list of all the samples from all the releases can be found here

For more information about IPUMS-DHS contextual variables, please refer to the overview section on contextual variables.

IPUMS-DHS data extracts can be merged with IPUMS-DHS contextual variables .csv files using the DHSID variable. Users who want to use IPUMS-DHS contextual variables with data obtained from the DHS Program, must construct their own DHSID variable for linking. The DHSID variable can be constructed by concatenating the 2-character DHS country code (e.g., BD for Bangladesh), the 4-digit YEAR (e.g., 2014), and the 8-digit CLUSTER number (e.g., 00000008) into a 14-character string (e.g., BD201400000008).

Each contextual variable link below downloads a .csv file with the 14-character DHS cluster number and the computed value (e.g., predominant soil type or precipitation) around ALL GPS clusters. We provide the .csv files from the 2019 data release as well as the current data release from 2021. A comprehensive table describing each contextual variable can be found in the summary section.

Physical and environmental context 2019 samples 2021 samples
Ecoregion; Ecoregion legend 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Soil type based on 2017 SoilGrids data
Soil legend
2019 .csv file Not Available
Soil type1 based on 2020 SoilGrids data)
NEW! Soil legend
Not Available 2021 .csv file
NDVI 72 months around survey start 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Precipitation2 72 months around survey start 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Temperature min.3 72 months around survey start 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Temperature max.3 72 months around survey start 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Economic and social context 2019 samples 2021 samples
Livelihood Zones; Livelihood zone legend 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Population Density 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Malaria1 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Battles1 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Riots1 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Violence1 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Agricultural context 2019 samples 2021 samples
Cropland 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Pastureland 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Production of 17 (e.g., RICE_P) individual crops 2019 .csv file 2021 .csv file
Harvest area for 17 (e.g., RICE_H) individual crops 2019.csv file 2021.csv file
  1. The 2021 .csv files for Soil, Malaria, Battles, Riots, and Violence contain the entire set of GPS clusters; this includes the 2019 and the 2021 samples. The back-end reference datasets were revised, so results from the 2019 clusters might be different from the 2021 clusters. e.g. The number of battles in Bangladesh-2000 might be different in the 2019 output .csv file versus the 2021 output .csv file.
  2. PRECIPITATION data range from January 1981 to December 2020. This full set of variables is not available through the extract system. Researchers can merge the precipitation data to their IPUMS-DHS data extract following the instructions at the top of the page.
  3. TEMPERATURE data range from January 1980 to December 2016. This full set of variables is not available through the extract system. Researchers can merge the temperature data to their IPUMS-DHS data extract following the instructions at the top of the page.

Additional contextual variables that link GPS cluster data to ancillary data are available from The DHS Program's Geospatial Covariates page.

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