Social Science Data

A good place to start is the Hesburgh Libraries Datasets & Statistics Collection, which offers a comprehensive list of datasets and statistics organized by subject, location and source. 

An alternative is the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). The ICPSR maintains one of the world’s oldest and largest digital data archives in the social sciences. It hosts specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse and terrorism, among many other fields. The University of Notre Dame is a member institution of the ICPSR and thus everyone affiliated with Notre Dame receives full access to the data archive.

Another alternative is the Dataverse Network, and in particular the Harvard Dataverse Network, which is open to all scientific data from all disciplines worldwide and it includes one of the world's largest collection of social science research data.

There are many other data archives and repositories, some of which are specific to certain research communities. Databib and re3data contain a large searchable collection of online research data repositories. 

Listed below are other well-known archives of social sciences data:

Association of Religion Data Archives

“The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections and developing features for educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world.”

Data Sharing for Demographic Research.

“Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR) provides support to the demographic research community for accessing demographic data. We support data users interested in locating, accessing, and analyzing data. Services include a searchable index of demographic data, access to public-use and restricted-use data, assistance in meeting security requiremetns when applying for access to restricted use data, online analysis and training in data use.”

Henry A. Murray Research Archive

The Henry A. Murray Research Archive is the endowed, permanent repository for quantitative and qualitative research data at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. A wide variety of demographic, education, health and political data is available.

Health and Medical Care Archive

“The Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) is the data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care in the United States. The data collections in HMCA include surveys of health care professionals and organizations, investigations of access to medical care, surveys on substance abuse, and evaluations of innovative programs for the delivery of health care.”

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series

“A project dedicated to collecting and distributing United States Census data. Includes census microdata for social and economic research.”

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

“The mission of the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) is to facilitate research in criminal justice and criminology, through the preservation, enhancement, and sharing of computerized data resources. Services provided include assistance in identification of appropriate criminological and criminal justice data collections on specific topics, custom subsetting of selected data files through our online Survey Documentation and Analysis and assistance with the retrieval and use of files obtained from the archive.”

National Opinion Research Center

The NORC at the University of Chicago provides several services pertaining to Social Science research including a high quality collection of data. “The kinds of data collected include:
-Individual, household or establishment information supporting wide ranging research initiatives including health and family, energy consumption, childhood immunization, social behavior, employment, retirement, and other matters
-Administrative records, such as academic transcripts, financial documents, medical records, and meeting minutes
-biomarkers and biomeasures”

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

“The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues. The Center conducts regular monthly polls on politics and major policy issues as well as the News Interest Index, a weekly survey aimed at gauging the public’s interest in and reaction to major news events. Shorter commentaries are produced on a regular basis addressing the issues of the day from a public opinion perspective. In addition, the Center periodically fields major surveys on the news media, social issues and international affairs. All surveys and results are available, free of charge, on the website.”

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

“The Roper Center focuses on public opinion data from commercial and media survey organizations. The Roper Center archives datasets from thousands of surveys with national adult, state, foreign, and special subpopulation samples. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are represented.”

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive

“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) promotes the access and use of the nation’s preeminent substance abuse and mental health research data by assuring accurate public use data files and documentation to support a better understanding of this critical area of public health. Our data include the U.S. general and special populations, annual series, and designs that produce nationally representative estimates. Some of the data acquired and archived under SAMHDA have never before been publicly distributed.”


Quandl offers free and unlimited access to millions of time-series data sets from hundreds of sources spanning finance, economics, society, health, energy, demography & more.

“The home of the U.S. Government’s open data. Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.