POPDENSITY consists of a set of 5 variables. These variables report the population density - people per square kilometer of land area - within a 5 kilometer circular buffer around each DHS cluster location, in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020. POPDENSITY variables are available for every IPUMS-DHS sample with GPS data. POPDENSITY variables can be used as indicators of urban versus rural status, with the cut-off levels for these categories decided by the researcher, and greater consistency in measurement than the DHS URBAN variable. Values for POPDENSITY are based on population projections from the results of the 2000 and 2010 rounds of censuses.
By adding POPDENSITY to your data cart, you are in effect adding 5 separate variables (POPDENSITY_2000 - POPDENSITY_2020), one variable for each month.
Please see the User Note on Using IPUMS-DHS Contextual Variables: POPDENSITY [URL omitted from DDI.] for more information about this variable, including data sources and methodology. This variable, like the other IPUMS-DHS contextual variables, is based on sources outside The DHS Program, with values around DHS sample cluster points calculated by IPUMS-DHS staff.