Quality and Quantity

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1061–1077 | Cite as

A Q-Analysis of Census Data: Intra-Household Income Allocation and School Attendance in Chiapas, Mexico

Research Note


Q-analysis, introduced by a mathematician Ron Atkin, is a useful tool to explore social structures. I introduce essential concepts and techniques of q-analysis to show q-analysis’s potential ability to analyze and extract information from census data – the work that most researchers have done mainly with statistical methods. Using Mexican census and q-analysis, I examine whether children of female-headed household aged 15–19 were more likely to attend school than male-headed household children in Chiapas, Mexico in 2000. My findings are consistent with the large body of previous research, many of which were conducted with statistical methods: women’s control of income tends to results in a better welfare for their children, defined as children’s school attendance by the sex of heads of household in my study. I evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a-analysis of census data. I conclude that while it has some weaknesses, q-analysis is a complimentary method to statistical methods for analysis of census data that may overcome some limitations that statistical methods often face such as an incapability of handling a small sample.


census data chiapas intra-household resource allocation Q-analysis school attendance statistical methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Population Research CenterThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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