Social Science & Humanities Data Sets

Be sure to check specialized Research Guides for additional resources.

American Religion Data Archive

"Includes data on churches and church membership, religious professionals, and religious groups (individuals, congregations and denominations)." Data with greatest detail is for U.S. but includes international surveys as well.

Archaeology Data Service

A digital library providing access to archaeological archives and publications for Great Britain and Ireland.

Centers for Disease Control

The CDC conducts surveys on an enormous variety of health issues in the U.S., whether caused by disease or lifestyle. This page gives access to those data sets as well as tools for manipulating them.

Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) [Princeton University]

"An interactive digital archive of data on the arts and cultural policy in the U.S., available for research and statistical analysis, with data on artists, arts and cultural organizations, audiences, and funding for arts and culture."

Davidson Data Center and Network (DDCN)

Part of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan. From the Web site: "The Davidson Data Center and Network (DDCN) is a repository and locator for data from transition and emerging market economies...The primary sources of data made available through the DDCN are individual faculty members and other researchers who study transition and emerging market economies and are willing to share their data for secondary analysis.  The DDCN also serves as a portal to data from other research institutes, multilateral organizations, and commercial vendors...All data available for downloading directly from the DDCN are free of charge; however, the DDCN's archive does point to data available at other institutions which may charge a fee either for their data or delivery services."

"DDCN facilitates data exchanges between researchers and between institutions. For data that cannot be made available in the public domain, DDCN assumes an active role in the brokering of access." The DDCN is affiliated with the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan, a "non-profit, independent, research and educational institute dedicated to developing and disseminating expertise on issues affecting firms in transition & emerging market economies."

EPI DataZone (Economic Policy Institute)

National,state & regional data for the U.S.

International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST)

Resources A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work.

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

From the web site: "One of the nation's premier research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses exclusively on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color...The Joint Center's current research and analyses address critical issues in three key areas: political participation; economic advancement; and health policy." Happy to share its data—with attribution.

Log Into North Carolina (LINC) Database

Fulfilling the North Carolina State Data Center's mandate to coordinate data produced by state agencies, this resource also provides North Carolina statistical data in broad subject areas from some federal agencies. Extensive time coverage from 1970s to present, and including State Demographer's population projections for future years.

Data for many subject areas:

  • Population and Housing
  • Vital Statistics and Health
  • Social and Human Services
  • Law Enforcement, Courts, and Corrections
  • Environment, Recreation, and Resources
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Government
  • Employment and Income
  • Business and Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Education

Murray Research Center (Radcliffe College)

Emphasis on data related to human development and social change. Many longitudinal studies are available. Includes qualitative data but researchers must apply for access, a process which can take several weeks.

National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) Data Web
(NCSU only) available through the Libraries' Databases list

The Data Web is a national repository of data on the entire U.S. nonprofit sector, based primarily on information submitted by the organizations themselves on their tax forms. Users can create reports, do some statistical analyses online, and extract data for downloading in a variety of software formats including dBase, Microsoft Excel, SAS, and SPSS. See the Nonprofits page for more detail.

2002, 1997 and 1992 National Study of the Changing Workforce [electronic resource] : public-use files. Click here for location.

Circulating CD-ROM
: [New York, N.Y.] : Families and Work Institute, c2004.

The Families & Work Institute gathers survey data about the lives of U.S. workers at work and at home every five years. In this work, 2002, 1997 and 1992 NSCW, NSCW details the examination of work and family issues with nationally representative cross-sectional samples of the U.S. labor force. Version 1.0 of the NSCW Public-Use Files contains 2002, 1997 and 1992 survey data as well as support materials and code in SPSS syntax to create a comparison file for the 1997 NSCW and 1977 QES.

North Carolina State Data Center

Web site that is specific to North Carolina's Census data.

North Carolina State Demographer

Responsible for tracking the state's population, the State Demographer produces county and state estimates, municipal estimates, and county and state population projections (future years). Other information on this site includes trend reports, growth component analysis, recent town incorporations and mergers, and more.


Odum Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (UNC - Chapel Hill)

From the web site: "The Odum Institute maintains one of the oldest and largest archives of machine-readable data in the U.S. Its Louis Harris Data Center is the exclusive national repository for Louis Harris public opinion data. The Institute has an extensive collection of U.S. Census data, including one of the most complete holdings for 1970 Census files. Other major sources of data include the North Carolina State Data Center, which distributes North Carolina census data; and the National Center for Health Statistics. Its National Network of State Polls archive is recognized as the largest available collection of state-level surveys. Also available are data from studies conducted by UNC social science faculty."

Pew Internet and American Life Project Data Sets

"The Pew Internet & American Life Project will create and fund original, academic-quality research that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source for timely information on the Internet's growth and societal impact, through research that is scrupulously impartial. " Poll data is made publicly available six months after release. Important source of U.S. public opinion data.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research Post-9/11 Polls data_access/data/datasets/september_11_2001.html

Although the Roper Center generally requires institutional membership to access its data, these are free datasets from polls by NBC News and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal collaboration for in-depth analysis of what Americans were thinking and feeling on the days immediately following September 11, 2001. In SPSS, with codebooks.

NCSU affiliates may also access all other Roper Center data.

Social Science Data Archives at UC Irvine

Extensive metasite linking to social science data sets online.


Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center

From the web site: "The Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, SEDAC, is one of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) in the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SEDAC focuses on human interactions in the environment. Its mission is to develop and operate applications that support the integration of socioeconomic and Earth science data and to serve as an "Information Gateway" between the Earth and social sciences." Includes global, regional and national data sets.

State Library of North Carolina

Subject keyword index to selected web sites that present data about North Carolina.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive

The substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) at ICPSR includes the most up-to-date, comprehensive national data on these topic areas. Access to data, online analysis tools, and resources is free, with no membership or registration required. You can download datasets in SPSS, SAS, and State formats, as well as analyze data online, create custom charts and graphs, and more.

U.S. Bureau of the Census

The U.S. Census Bureau provides much of its data through American FactFinder. To retrieve smaller amounts of data, entry through the Data Sets (in the sidebar)--Detailed Tables links is strongly recommended. See the Data Download site for larger downloads from the major surveys. Some ACS data sets are only available through the ACS FTP web page. County Business Patterns and other special topic data is available through the Subjects A to Z index from the Bureau's home page and/or the CenStats databases. (The Agricultural Census has been administered by the USDA since 1992.) See our Census guide for more information, including how to access what historical data is available online (1980 and earlier). If you need assistance understanding or using Census data, contact the Data Services Librarians.

Selected Major Surveys

  • Decennial Census (every ten years)
  • American Community Survey (annual)
  • Current Population Survey (annual)
  • Economic Census (every five years)
  • plus many others.

Other Products

  • annual population estimates
  • building permit data
  • various special tabulations in collaboration with other federal agencies from the decennial census data; and
  • annual County Business Patterns

Local access to to non-public microdata from the Census and several other federal surveys can be accessed by submitting a proposal to the Triangle Census Research Data Center (TCRDC), housed at Duke University and supported in partnership with the UNC system. The review process involves two stages, a preliminary proposal and a final one. Final proposals are reviewed for feasibility, scientific merit, benefit to the Census Bureau, and disclosure risks. Benefit to the Census Bureau must be a predominant purpose.

Be forewarned, the Census Bureau indicates researchers should expect a minimum of three months to elapse between the final proposal submission and the actual commencement of research. This duration can vary greatly depending on the specifics of the proposal. However, approved researchers affiliated with Duke or any UNC system campus are granted access free of charge while others must pay for the privilege. See the TCRDC web site (linked above) for detailed information on this program, including proposal guidelines, and contact TCRDC staff directly with questions.

World Bank

The World Bank provides international economic data, mostly "derived, either directly or indirectly, from official statistical systems organized and financed by national governments." Some is time-series data across multiple years; some is cross-national. Its Data and Statistics page provides access to some data available free online but other data sets are only available through purchase.