About the MPC

The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) is a large, interdisciplinary social science research center at the University of Minnesota, and we provide the world’s largest demographic databases to the global research community. Cutting-edge research on topics as diverse as global health, gender, human migration, education, crime, family structure, poverty and welfare, the labor force, land use and natural resources, and race and ethnicity have all relied upon the data delivered from the MPC’s data systems. Our users are historians, demographers, economists, epidemiologists, journalists, government staffers, non-profit analysts, among others.

Our Data

The “Minnesota” in our name refers to our University rather than the focus or scale of our research. In fact, we have tremendous amounts of data both for the US and the rest of the world.

  • The NHGIS project features more than 220 years of US census and demographic data (including boundary maps all the way back to 1790).
  • The IPUMS International project alone contains 258 census datasets from 79 different countries.
  • Terra Populus project has truly global environmental raster data, covering the entire surface of the Earth.

Our Mission

Our mission at the MPC is to make all of this data more usable by the research community. It can be hard for researchers to discover the data that’s available, figure out how to extract just what they need, and how to connect multiple datasets together to ask their research question. We strive to build tools and processes which make this process simpler, faster and more transparent, so that the researchers can focus on research instead of data wrangling.

Building the IT systems to meet this mission requires a dedicated staff of talented developers, designers and operations folks. Read more about the MPC IT Core.