Data collection is much more distributed in the US than in Canada. Microdata is available from the US Census Bureau, the US Department of Health & Human Services - including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), the US Department of Education - National Center for Education Statistics, the US Department of Labour - Bureau of Labor Statistics, and others. A key source improving ease of access to US microdata is the IPUMS project.
Highlighted resource: IPUMS
The IPUMS project, based at the University of Minnesota, provides census and survey data from around the world. In addition to their international projects (highlighted on our international microdata page), they provide a number of key US government datasets, harmonized over time. Access to IPUMS requires setup of a free account.
- IPUMS USA - Census decennial census microdata from 1790-2010 and American Community Survey (ACS) microdata from 2000-present. These data are harmonized and may not include all variables included on the Census Bureau public use files.
- IPUMS CPS - Current Population Survey (CPS) microdata from 1962-present. Cunducted by the Census Bureau, CPS includes demographic, employment, and supplemental data on topics such as fertility, tobacco use, volunteer activities, voter registration, internet use, food security, and more. Curious about the difference between the CPS and the APS? Check out this guide.
- IPUMS Health Surveys - provides microdata from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS ) 1960s to present, and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) from 1996-present. Both surveys are conducted under the US Department of Health & Human Services.
Highlighted resource: ICPSR
ICPSR is a major US-based archive containing more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioural sciences. It also hosts a range of special collections for government data, listed below. Accessing ICPSR requires creation of an account using your U of T email address. You must be at an on-campus computer when you first register for your account; after the account is set up you can access ICPSR from anywhere.
Specialized ICPSR collections for government microdata
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (via ICPSR). Provides access to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the National Incident-Based Reporting System, FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, Annual Parole Survey and more.
- US Census Bureau Data Repository.
Other US Microdata
- National Center for Education Statistics Surveys & Programs. Includes a range of longitudinal surveys, some of which have public use microdata and some restricted use data available by application.
- National Longitudinal Surveys (Youth, Children & Young Adults, Young Women and Mature Women, Young Men & Older Men). Bureau of Labour Statistics. Public use microdata files are available.
- Census and American Community Survey. Census Bureau. Public use microdata files. These differ from IPUMS versions as they have not been harmonized over time.
- Map & Data Library microdata search