Researcher Services Librarian
by David Michalski – September 27, 2021
This guide lists key social science data sources. If you need support with social sciences data, I am happy to help, or get you in contact with those who can. Feel free to contact me via email, email@example.com or make an appointment https://calendly.com/michalski-1/research-librarian-consultation.
Data.gov provides public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Data.gov has descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov.
The Harvard Dataverse Network, housed at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard, hosts the world’s largest collection of social science research.
The Henry A. Murray Research Archive is Harvard’s endowed repository for quantitative and qualitative research data at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Our collection comprises over 100 terabytes of data, audio, and video. We provide long-term preservation of all types of data of interest to the research community, including numerical, video, audio, interview notes, and other data.
The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) consists of sixty high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses, from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2011, and from the Puerto Rican Community Surveys of 2005-2011. The IPUMS assigns uniform codes across all the samples and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of social and economic change.
The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a one-volume, comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. The government-published Statistical Abstract of the U.S. was discontinued following publication of the 2012 edition.
Annual statistical compendia from the Census Bureau through 2012. Continued by the commercially published (Proquest) Statistical Abstract of the U.S. Census has the Statistical Abstract in pdf online back to 1878.
The United States Census Bureau is responsible for the Census of Population and Housing. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data. As part of the United States Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau serves as a leading source of data about America’s people and economy.
ProQuest Statistical Insight combines Index and abstract records previously available from print indexes: American Statistics Index (ASI) from 1973, and Index to International Statistics (IIS)from 1980. ProQuest Statistical Insight enables searching indexes and tables for statistics produced by the U.S. government and major international organizations. The database includes some statistical tables as well as abstracts, or summaries, of statistical publications. The Library has many of the publications indexed in print or electronic format.
Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change.
The entire US Census from 1790 to 2010.
The entire American Community Survey (ACS) from 2005 to 2014.
All annual updates from the American Community Survey.
InfoGroup data on religious congregations in the United States for 2009 and 2010, including maps for counties and special census areas, as well as point maps of the actual congregation locations.
The Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS) from 1980 to 2010.
Carbon Emissions Data for 2002 from the Vulcan Project.
China Data Online is the primary data source for China studies. It includes (1) China Statistical Databases; and (2) China Census Databases; It provides easy access to the various statistical yearbooks published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, comprehensive statistics, and Census data of economy and population at national, provincial, city, county, and even township levels.
“Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.”
Rand State Statistics (also known as Rand California) focuses on California and U.S. state level statistics. Various subjects are covered – population & demographics, health & health care, employment, etc. More than 200 databases covering all 50 states are included.
This resource aggregates the statistical abstracts of more than 50 countries and makes the content available through a single-search interface. These statistical abstracts are generally issued by the national statistical offices of foreign governments and contain country-level data not easily found elsewhere.
Also includes data from the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, World Development Indicators, and Key Figures on Europe.
IPUMS-International is an effort to inventory, preserve, harmonize, and disseminate census microdata from around the world. The project has collected the world’s largest archive of publicly available census samples. The data are coded and documented consistently across countries and over time to facillitate comparative research. IPUMS-International makes these data available to qualified researchers free of charge through a web dissemination system.
The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. The Data Explorer features data sets from the World Bank, the OECD, Eurostat, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and the California Department of Education.
This site allows users to examine, manipulate and map data from the U.S. Censuses from 1790-1960. It is a powerful and easy-to-use resource produced by the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia Library.
re3data.org is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. re3data.org promotes a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data. The registry went live in autumn 2012 and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The Gale Digital Scholar Lab is designed to access and analyze Gale’s primary source content by integrating digital primary source content with digital humanities tools. Analysis and visualization options include clustering word analysis, named entity recognition, Ngram, topic modelling, and more. Note: An account (Google or Microsoft OneDrive) is needed to create and save personalized datasets
Primary source collections include:
Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers
The Times Digital Archive
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Burney Newspapers Collection
Archives of Sexuality and Gender
The Economist Historical Archive, 1843-2015
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Sabin Americana: History of the Americas, 1500-1926
The Making of the Modern World
The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive, 1902-2014
The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800-1926
U.S. Declassified Documents Online
Indigenous Peoples of North America
The Making of Modern Law: Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 1950-1980
Europa World Plus, the online version of the Europa World Year Book, contains historical, political and economic information on over 250 countries and territories as well as statistical and directory information.
Eurostat is the statistical agency for the European Union. The site provides access to data (monthly, quarterly, and annual data) from 1960 onwards. Topics include: general statistics, regional statistics, economy and finance, agriculture and fisheries, environment and energy, population and social conditions, services and transport and intra- extra- EU trade statistics. Coverage is Europe.
OECD iLibrary is OECD’s Online Library for Books, Papers and Statistics and the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data. It replaces SourceOECD, and hosts all content so users can find – and cite – tables and databases as easily as articles or chapters.
These Reports provide comprehensive statistics on international trade (imports and exports) for 1250 product groups of the Harmonized Sytem nomenclature (HS revision 1 or 2 or 3) and for more than 200 countries or territories over the period 2001 to 2008.
Data and Statistics from NASS include the Census of Agriculture with data from 1997, 2002 and 2007.
U.S. Department of Education site for educational statistics. Link to data tools, tables and figures, fast facts, publications and more from NCES home page. Data includes school district data, educational assessment, and public library data.
Related: Link directly to popular annual reports with statistical data: Digest of Education Statistics, Condition of Education, Indicators of School Crime and Safety, and Projections of Education Statistics.
National Center for Health Statistics data center. Data by topics, eg., births, deaths, disease. Links to CDC Data Warehouse for access to health statistics and data including vital statistics, detailed data sets, and survey data.
Related: NCHS Data Access