Journal Article

Real and synthetic household populations and their analysis: an example of early historical census microdata (Rostock in 1819)

Gruber, S., Scholz, R. D., Szołtysek, M.

Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 44:2, 107-113 (2011)

Keywords: Germany, census methods


In this article, the authors describe a validation ofmethods for dealing with census microdata with no delineated households. The 1819 census of Rostock, Germany, is an enumeration of individuals without household reference. Following a description of this census, the authors test an algorithm that constructs households from individual person records according to a strictly defined set of rules. The rules for assigning people to household units are identified by deducing them from the 1867 census of Rostock, which enumerates individuals within household units. The authors then assess the appropriateness of the algorithm’s fit to the census of 1819 and conclude with a discussion of the impact of the algorithm on household structures for different groups within the urban population and the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to the construction of synthetic households.