The last helpful SPSS tool to learn is how to build quick charts. After all, it is nice to create tables summarizing your data, but it is even more powerful to build a visual chart that demonstrates the same information in a graphical way.
Building Charts and Graphs
From the top SPSS menu, select Graphs >> Legacy Dialogues and the type of chart you want to make. The Chart Builder is an option as well, but has some limitations in terms of labeling your axes. As an example, select a Bar plot.
You will be prompted as to what kind of bar chart you want. For our purposes, a simple bar chart will suffice. Leave the data options as "Summaries for Groups of Cases." Remember that in the case of the IPUMS data, we are dealing with counts of cases. Click "Define."
In the next box, leave the bars as representing "N of cases." This is how you would set it to show counts in your plot. If you wanted to show averages, or perhaps a stacked bar showing percents of totals, you might change this.
Select for your Category Axis the variable Birthplace [general version] (BPL). This will be the variable whose counts we will show:
Give your chart a nice title. Click on the Titles button at the top. You can enter up to two lines of a plot title, a subtitle, and up to two lines of a footnote. For example, you could note in a footnote where the data came from (for example, a citation of IPUMS). Enter the title for your chart. Click continue and then "OK" to create the chart, which may take a few seconds to render.
The result is a summary of the relative numbers of individuals in this extract born in various places around the world--most, of course, were born in New York or in Ireland.
You'd want to take care that your chart is a little more concise. There are way too many locations listed here to display them all properly. What is recommended is first filtering out certain regions to make the chart more useful. But the basic idea remains the same as you build other charts for your findings.
A final note: just like your tables, these charts can be exported. Click on them once to highlight then, then go to File >> Export. In the dialogue window select "Selected" so you only export your chart. Choose the file type and save location and click OK. Alternatively, right click on them and select "Export."