Chicago Data Training: Using Microdata from the American Community Survey

This is a recording of the February 15, 2021 workshop with Rob Paral.

What Is the Training? This is an online 1.5 hour training on a type of Census Bureau data called “microdata.”

What is Microdata? “Microdata” are individual person and household responses to the American Community Survey. The data are stripped of personal identifiers. This is the kind of data used to describe, for example, poverty, education or employment among very specific groups like seniors, immigrants, African Americans or others.

What Will the Training Do? This training explains what microdata are, how to access the data, and how to use and display the data.

Do I Need to Use Special Software or Know How to Code? No, to make things simple, the training uses a free service of IPUMS-USA at the University of Minnesota. You can create a free account at

Who Is the Instructor? Rob Paral is a fellow at UIC Great Cities and a past lecturer in the UIC Latin American and Latino Studies Program. Rob has many years of working with Chicago data. His Chicago community area data are widely used, and may be seen at