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CISER Data Archive

Internet Data Sources for Social Scientists

Data Distributors and Producers: U.S. Government

Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology
     Composed of representatives from federal statistical agencies and dedicated to improving data quality and communicating infomration on methodologies. Site includes an extensive report series and descriptions of federal statistical agency products.

Federal Computer Products Center (NTIS)
     Descriptions of datafiles on diskette, CD, and tape produced since 1990. Most products are produced from federal agencies, but state and some private-sector products are also included.

Department of Agriculture

homepage for Department of Agriculture   

Census of Agriculture
     The 2002 Census of Agriculture function from this site permits selection and download (as comma-delimited files) of multiple geographies and tables for both 2002 and 1997 surveys. Older years are limited to PDF versions of published tables. The AgCensus site provides tables for 1987, 1992, and 1997 at county, state, and ZIP geographies. Output is limited to one location at a time in html table format.

Economic Research Service

National Agriculture Statistics Service
     Agricultural statistics at the state, county, ZIP code, and Congressional district levels. Reports, statistical tables, and some mapping features based on recent Census of Agriculture results and other surveys.

USDA Economics and Statistics System
     Data and statisical reports generated from the Agricultural Marketing Service, (AMS) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), World Agricultural Outlook Board, and the Economic Research Service (ERS). Substantial historical coverage of crops, agricultural management, trade and markets, and some environment and land-use topics. E-mail announcement service also available for selected reports.

Department of Commerce

homepage for Department of Commerce   

Bureau of Economic Analysis
     This link goes directly to the BEA Catalog of Products, from which you can download many national and regional economic series. Of special interest to researchers, the site archives previously published estimates that underwent subsequent revision. There is also some international data, and the site has limited mapping abilities.

In addition to data downloads, you can use an interactive feature to create tables from selected series, some back to the 1940s. Among these are the national income and products accounts (NIPA) , regional economic accounts (also known as REIS) , and input-output accounts

Census Bureau      bullet Census Bureau

      bullet Censtats
          A gateway to some of the most popular Census products, such as County Business Patterns, tract locator, and USA Counties.


Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
     Data on travel by US nationals and incoming visitors. Some detailed marketing data is sold, but the site also provides very detailed, historical statistics on travel.


Department of Education

homepage for Department of Education   

National Center for Education Statistics
     The site distributes a broad range of published reports and data on all levels of education, including state and local financing and governance, student performance and well-being, as well as trends and projections. Its Data Resource Center permits drill-down to specific tablels and charts produced by NCES. Fast Response Survey System permits dataset downloads for the most recent and popular public-use files. The NCES site also supplies information about its restricted-use datasets.

State Education Reforms
     Part of the National Center for Education Statistics site but provides data collected outside of NCES. Focuses on student assessment, school finances, school choice (public, charter, private, home schooling), and classroom practices. Most "data tables" go back only a few years.

Department of Energy

homepage for Department of Energy   

Energy Information Administration
     Comprehensive source of statistics on generation, use, forecasts, and environmental implications related to energy: nuclear, coal, natural gas, petroleum, electrcity, renewable and alternatirve fuels. Some international data. Many series can be downloaded in Excel format.

Department of Health and Human Services

homepage for Department of Health and Human Services   

Bureau of Health Professions
     Provides access to the National Practitioner Data Bank, which contains records of malpractice payments and "adverse actions" taken against health care professionals as reported by insurers, agencies, hospitals, and others. A second product is the National Integrity and Protection Data Bank, designed to prevent fraud in health care delivery and payments. Access to both is restricted but there are public-use versions. Information on both is on this site:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
     Links to cost and service utlization data related to Medicare and Medicaid programs. Many tables down to the county level. Download public-use datasets and link to descriptions of restricted-use datasets and information on how to obtain them.

National Center for Health Statistics

Department of Housing and Urban Development

homepage for Department of Housing and Urban Development   
     Most HUD data are available via HUD USER ( ), a primary source for housing research information.

Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) Database
     A special tabulation of 1990 and 2000 Census data used by local governments to determine housing needs. Create extracts based on household type and geographic area (state, county, place, MCD). CHAS and supporting spatial files available through US HUD.

House Price Index
     Broad indicator of changes in single-family house prices by Census region, state, and MSA. Compare up to 3 geographic areas online or download historical quarterly data back to 1975 (when available) in ascii or Excel formats. Maintained by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

Housing Data Sets
     The "front door" to important HUD datasets (sor example, American Housing Survey, Property Owners and Managers Survey, Residential Finance Survey) and GIS files designed for use with HUD data.

Speciall Tabulations of Households
     Counts of houseolds by household characteristics (tenure, income, etc.) for counties, MSAs and PMSAs, and places with populations over 50,000 based on the 1990 and 2000 Census.

Department of Justice

homepage for Department of Justice   

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Federal Justice Statistics Program database
     Compiled by the Bureau and maintained by The Urban Institute, the database is a compilation of information from several federal agencies describing suspects and defendents in the criminal justice system.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

Department of Labor

homepage for Department of Labor   

Bureau of Labor Statistics
     The ultimate source of US data on employment, prices, working conditions, and productivity. Includes a considerable number of historical time series and a highly selective list of series from other countries. The site's most recent redesign (2008) incoporates tutorials, data retrieval and mapping tools, and really cool calculators for comparing inflation and occupational injuries. For those who know the data and what they're looking for, see the list at

Safety and Health Statistics

Department of the Treasury

homepage for Department of the Treasury   

Internal Revenue Service: Tax Stats

Department of Transportation

homepage for Department of Transportation   

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

National Household Travel Survey
     Collects data on American long-distance and local travel habits. Conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Federal Highway Administration. Latest survey year is 2001/ 2002. Continues two other BTS surveys: the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (conducted irregularly 1969-1995) and American Travel Survey (1977 and 1995).

Gateways to Federal Statistics Sources

     Compiles statistics on child wellbeing from 20 agencies that constitute the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Topics in economic and health security, education, population and family characterisitcs, crime and substance abuse. National statistics only as charts and tables in HTML and Excel, links to information on the source data .


Investigators' Guide to Sources of Information


U.S. Government Printing Office

White House Briefing Rooms

      bullet Economic Indicators

Other Federal Agencies

Election Assistance Commission
     Use the Election Resources link to locate national and state-level voter registration and turnout for federal elections. National turnout statistics by age, gender, and race based on Current Population Survey's November voting and registration supplement. Some historical data back to 1960. Selected voter turnout information for other countries is useful but not current.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Federal Election Commission

      bullet Campaign financing

      bullet Historical files
          An FTP site for FEC data files back to 1980.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
     Online access to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data, aggregated by lending institutions and MSA. Many of these data are also accessible at no cost via PolicyMap

Federal Reserve Board
     Economic Research and Data links to current and historical statistical series, reports and data associated with FRB surveys such as the Survey of Consumer Finances and Survey of Small Business Finances.

General Accounting Office

National Archives and Records Administration, Electonic and Special Media Records
     Formerly known as the Center for Electronic Records. Among other file formats, archives numeric files representing attitude surveys; historical Censuses and other demographic and economic data products' education and environmental files; administrative records; international surveys conducted by the US Information Agency; and much more.

Use the Archival Research Catalog at to locate studies. Selected data products can be explored by using the Access to Archival Databases tool There's also a handy (and difficult to find) series of research guides to data series from agencies such as the IRS and NLRB.

National Science Foundation

      bullet Scientist and Engineer Statistics Data System (SESTAT)

Social Security Administration

      bullet Benefits and Earnings Public Use File
          Microdata consisting of a 1-percent representative sample of beneficiaries drawn from the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program, linked to correponding earnings histories. Approximately 470,000 records. Files available in ascii and SAS formats.