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Re: st: How many observations can Stata 11 handle?

From   Maarten Buis <>
Subject   Re: st: How many observations can Stata 11 handle?
Date   Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:02:27 +0100

On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM, Tunga Kantarcı wrote:
> Here is a short question. What is the maximum number of observations
> that Stata 11 can handle?

-help limits-

> I have an administrative data set which
> includes observations for about 3 million unique individuals, for 20
> variables.

I very much doubt that the maximum number of observations is the
problem here (unless you are using Small Stata, in which case you get
what you pay for). Instead I suspect a problem with memory,
specifically I suspect that one or more variables are stored as very
long strings. The solution to that is to either not load that/those
variable(s) by using -use varlist using filename- instead of -use
filename-. You can spot the offending variables using -desc using
filename-. Alternatively you can load only the offending variables,
fix them and merge them with the rest of the variables.

> I plan to draw a sample from the data set using SPSS and transfer the
> data to Stata 11 with the Stat-transfer data conversion program.

no need to use SPSS: to draw a 70% sample before opening the data you
can type -use <filename> if runiform() < .7-

Hope this helps,

Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen

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