2003 Summer Workshop: Analyzing Poverty and Welfare Trends Using Census 2000
At our first annual Summer Workshop, participants learned how to use the latest Census Bureau datasets to better understand social and economic issues affecting low-income populations.
The workshop was taught by Reynolds Farley, the Dudley Duncan Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan and Research Scientist at the Institute for Social Research. Professor Farley provided hands-on training in the use of the 1% Public Use Micro-sample from Census 2000 and other Census Bureau datasets.Participants
The twenty-six participants represented a wide range of institutions, including Washington University, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Internal Revenue Service. Applications to attend the workshop were submitted by nearly sixty faculty, postdoctoral fellows, advanced doctoral students, federal and state-level policy and research analysts, and others.
We gave preference to applicants who do not have ready access to Census data or to similar training at their home institution. Attendees received stipends to defray the costs of travel, lodging, and per diem.
Asked to evaluate their experience, participants rated the workshop highly. Comments included the following:
- The professors and instructors were great and very knowledgeable.
- Every aspect of the workshop was great.
- I found this workshop immensely helpful and beneficial to my work.
- The afternoon presentations were excellent!
- The content was excellent. I'm so happy I had the opportunity to be here.
- The course was extremely informative and helpful. The topics presented were easily understood. Ren Farley was excellent! He was helpful and very patient.
- This workshop was outstanding. The high energy level of Ren was key to the quality.
- This was a fantastic training!
Familiarize participants with the concepts used by the Census Bureau and the way the Bureau codes and tabulates information.
Provide hands-on demonstrations with user-friendly software that allows anyone with access to the Internet to easily tabulate data from Census Bureau micro-data and obtain summary descriptive statistics such as means, standard errors, median and percentile points.
Provide hands-on demonstrations with user-friendly software that allows anyone with access to the Internet to select and download observations and variables for use with standard statistical packages.
Develop a project focused on participants' own interests and produce findings by the end of the workshop and an appropriate data array that can be used when the participant returns to her/his home institution.
Provide opportunities for participants to discuss the current status of key research and policy issues regarding poverty with nationally recognized experts.