What Every IPUMS DHS User Should Know

1. Users must apply for permission to download IPUMS DHS data, specifying the country/countries of interest, from The DHS Program. Go to "Register to Use IPUMS DHS" to apply for access. Any permissions you may already have for DHS will carry over to IPUMS-DHS, using your DHS username and password.

2. Weights should always be used to create statistics from DHS/IPUMS DHS data. For most analyses using women, births, or young children as the unit of analysis, use the sample weight PERWEIGHT. When including variables from the Domestic Violence Module, use DVWEIGHT . Use PERWEIGHTMN as the weight when men are the unit of analysis, and use HHWEIGHT when household members are the unit of analysis

3. There are important differences between IPUMS DHS data and the original DHS data:

4. While IPUMS DHS data include some household-characteristic variables, IPUMS DHS data should not be used to create statistics about households, unless the dataset on household members is limited to persons who are coded as heads of households or assigned household line number 1 in the household roster. Without those restrictions, household variables should be treated as characteristics of the person (e.g., a woman of childbearing age lives in a household with electricity).

5. Examine the documentation for variables you are using. Clicking on a variable name in the "Select Data" part of the website provides access to the variable's codes and frequencies, universe (who answered the question), meaning, discussion of comparability issues, and question wording.