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Find Data & Statistics: Best Places to Start

Use this guide as a starting point for locating statistics or data on a topic.

Research Data Archives

Below is a list of selected research data archives. Many of these archives index data to be downloaded and used for analysis with statistical software. Some of the archives will allow you to get statistics without needing to use statistical software.


Data Citation Index discover research data, including data studies, data sets from a wide range of international data repositories and connect them with the scientific literature to track data citation.

DataCite is a large index of research data that can be queried directly to find data, obtain statistics and explore connections. Searches the content of data repositories, including Dataverse, ICPSR, and more.

Dataverse is a collection of social science research data. It searches across multiple Dataverses hosted at a variety of institutions around the world.

Google Dataset Search (Beta) enables users to find datasets stored across the Web through a simple keyword search.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Access a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction. Note that before downloading data, you will be asked to set up an account. Some online analysis is available. Most datasets will need to be downloaded for analysis in a statistical software package. You will need to set up an account through ICPSR before you can download data.


National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture (NADAC)
An interactive digital archive of policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States.

Demographic, Economic, Political, Social

FRED: Federal Reserve Economic Data
Download, graph, and track 394,000 US and international time series from 79 sources.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
Microdata for social and economic research.  Includes American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, Current Population Survey, American Time Use Survey, international census microdata and the North Atlantic Population Project.  Can select variables and customize dataset before downloading. (Minnesota Population Center)

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
A nationally representative longitudinal study of nearly 9,000 U.S. families.  Following the same families and individuals since 1968, collects data on economic, health and social behavior.

World Bank Microdata Library
Access to data collected through sample surveys of households, business establishments or other facilities. These 'microdata' sets may also originate from population, housing or agricultural censuses or through an administrative data collection processes. The Library contains supporting documentation from censuses and surveys conducted or supported by the World Bank, as well as by other international organizations, statistical agencies and other agencies in low and middle-income countries.


Sociometrics provides access to a wide range of social science and behavioral health characteristics from hundreds of data sets covering a variety of target populations, e.g., children, adolescents, elderly.

Qualitative Data

UK Data Archive Open Access Qualitative DataThe UKDA provides the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the UK.

Syracuse Qualitative Data Repository: QDR stores digital data generated and analyzed through qualitative and multi-method research.


Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)
Access to US and international religion data. The ARDA includes data archives, denominations, US congregational membership, national profiles, GIS data, & maps.

Social Surveys, Attitudes, & Opinions

American National Election Study
You will need to register for an account (free!) to download the data file.

Choose the Time Series Study to get one year's data. The Cumulative Data File contains multiple years.

Be sure to look at the codebook & other documentation.

General Social Survey
The GSS contains a standard ‘core’ of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest.

Pew Research Center:  The Databank – Dataset Download
The Pew Research Center makes its data available to the public for secondary analysis.  Get data from its research centers:  Internet & American Life, Global Attitudes, Hispanic Center, People & the Press, Social & Demographic Trends, and Forum on Religion & Public Life. Note that Pew datasets are also available through The Roper Center.

Roper Center Public Opinion Archives
Great for poll & survey results. Includes datasets from the Pew Research Center. You will need to create an account to download data. George Mason University is a Roper Center member which means students, staff and faculty have full access to its resources.