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Demographic Data

Demographic data refer to the Decennial Census and other surveys of individuals and households administered by the Census Bureau. Compared to their public use counterparts, the internal data files include more detailed geographic information, generally to the block level for the Decennial Census and census-tract level for surveys, as well as less restrictive top-coding. The following table lists person and household based data, the frequency of data collection, the unit of enumeration, the years of data available at CES, and the sponsoring federal agency. Access to these data will only be granted to qualified researchers on approved projects with authorization to use specific data sets. All researcher access to restricted–use data occurs at one of the secure Census Research Data Centers.

Some Census Bureau data collections are sponsored in whole or in part by other federal agencies. Sponsorship of data collections may also change over time. External research projects using these data may require permission of the sponsoring agency.

Restricted–Use Demographic Microdata
Data Set Frequency Unit of Enumeration Availability
American Community Survey (ACS)
Annually
Housing Unit
1996–2012
Census Bureau
American Housing Survey (AHS)
Annually
Housing Unit
1984–1999, 2001–2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement (March)
Annually
Household
1967–2013
Current Population Survey (CPS) Food Security Supplement (December)
Annually
Household
2001–2012
Decennial Census
Every Ten Years
Household
1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010
Census Bureau
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Annually
Household
2006–2012
National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS)
Variable
Individual
Through 1998*
National Longitudinal Survey (NLS)
Annually
Individual
1966–1999
Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Longitudinal
Variable
Household
1984–1988, 1990–1993
Census Bureau
Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Panels
Monthly
Household
1984,
1990–1993, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2008
Census Bureau

* The National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) is a unique research database based on a random sample of the non-institutionalized population of the United States. It consists of U.S. Census Bureau data from Current Population Surveys, Annual Social and Economic Supplements and a subset of the 1980 Census combined with death certificate information to identify mortality status and cause of death. The cohorts begin at various dates from 1973 through 1998 matched to death records dating through 1998.

Recently Recovered Restricted–Use Microdata

In addition to the years and surveys listed on this page, thousands of tapes containing historic data were recently recovered and remain in an undeveloped state. For information on these data, see our Recently Recovered Data page.


 What are Microdata?

Microdata are data at the level of the establishment, firm, individual, or household that are collected through census and survey programs.


 What are Census  Research Data Centers?

Census Research Data Centers (RDCs) are U.S. Census Bureau facilities, staffed by a Census Bureau employee, which meet all physical and computer security requirements for access to restricted–use data. At RDCs, qualified researchers with approved projects receive restricted access to selected non–public Census Bureau data files.


 Recently Recovered
 Data

In addition to the data shown on this page, historic data from thousands of tapes were recently recovered and remain in an undeveloped state. For information on these data, see our Recently Recovered Data page.


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Center for Economic Studies | (301) 763-6460 | E-mail CES |  Last Revised: April 10, 2014