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Data Resources for Economists: U.S./Domestic Data Sources

This guide is a collection of links to commonly-used data resources favored by Economists.

Census Data, Demographics, and Population Surveys

American Fact Finder
https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
The American FactFinder is an extensive source for census statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Users can create data tables from the Decennial Census (2000 and 2010), the American Community Survey (2000-present), and the Economic Census (1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012) and download those tables into spreadsheet files. See http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/what_we_provide.xhtml for a list of available data collections.

Current Population Survey (CPS)
http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps.html
The Current Population Survey is a joint project between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The CPS is a monthly survey that collects basic socio-demographic information, labor force characteristics, and economic status. To access CPS data files, users can download the data from an FTP site or use various tools for creating tables from the microdata. Alternately, they can go to the National Bureau of Economic Research's CPS site or to IPUMS-CPS.

IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) USA
http://usa.ipums.org/usa/
The IPUMS project at the University of Minnesota is an excellent source for Census data in the form of microdata samples from each decennial Census from 1850-2000 and from the American Community Survey for 2001 and onwards. See https://usa.ipums.org/usa/sampdesc.shtml for a list of the samples available via IPUMS. The data include standardized/harmonized variables for topics such as industry, occupation, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment, for easier comparisons of data over time. The microdata come with geographic tools and boundary files, to assist with geographic analyses of the individual-level data. IPUMS-USA is one of many IPUMS efforts - see https://www.ipums.org/ for the full list.

Social Explorer
http://www.socialexplorer.com
Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. Its contents include the entire U.S. Census from 1790 to 2010, annual updates from the American Community Survey, data on religious congregations for the United States for 2009, decennial religious congregation data for 1980-2010, economic data on businesses, crime data, health indicators, and carbon emissions data for 2002. Users can create reports and maps at various levels of geography, including counties, Census tracts, Census block groups, and ZIP codes, depending on data availability. Social Explorer is also available via Databases at Emory.

Criminal Justice Data

Bureau of Justice Statistics
http://www.bjs.gov/
The BJS provides a wealth of crime and criminal justice data compiled by the U.S. government via a variety of data-collection programs. The BJS also provides various tools to produce and download tables on topics such as crime rates, crime victimization, and corrections populations. Many of the BJS' data collections are available via the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACJD/
The NACJD provides online access to and analysis of crime and justice data from federal and state agencies. The data cover topics such as attitudes towards crime, crime stats from official agencies, and the functioning of the criminal justice system.

Economic Data

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
http://www.bea.gov/
The BEA is an excellent source for macroeconomic data, with a focus on national accounts - GDP and its components such as income, consumption, investment, and government expenditure. It also provides much data on employment and compensation by industry. Data are available at the national, state, and local levels, in annual, quarterly and (in some cases) monthly increments. Some industry-level data and balance-of-payments data are also available. See http://www.bea.gov/itable/ for direct access to the data.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
http://www.bls.gov
The BLS contains much data on employment, wages, and prices, at both the national and sub-national levels. See http://www.bls.gov/bls/proghome.htm for a topical breakdown of the BLS' data holdings, and see http://www.bls.gov/guide/geography/ for a summary of data availability by level of geography. Be warned that the website is not always easy to navigate.

Economic Policy Uncertainty Index
http://www.policyuncertainty.com/index.html
The Economic Policy Uncertainty Index project attempts to quantity economic uncertainty created by macroeconomic policy by coding media coverage, tax codes, and economic forecasts. The data are available in monthly increments.

Department of Energy Energy Information Administration (EIA)
http://www.eia.doe.gov/
The EIA is a very extensive source for data on energy consumption in the United States, with both annual and monthly data available. The EIA also has a collection of "navigators" with additional data on various categories of energy, such as the Petroleum Navigator that includes national and state-level data on prices, production, and consumption. The EIA also has much international data available.

Federal Reserve Board: Data Releases
https://www.federalreserve.gov/data.htm
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system publishes a series of data releases on monetary and financial indicators on topics such as household finances, interest rates, exchange rates, industrial production, and monetary aggregates. Data from the various releases can be queried and downloaded via the Data Download Program.

Federal Reserve District Banks
https://federalreserveonline.org/
The individual district banks within the Federal Reserve system have their own research programs that include collecting data on national and/or regional economic conditions. Examples include the Kansis City Fed's Financial Stress Index, the San Francisco Fed's Treasury Yield Premiums, the Cleveland Fed's Systemic Risk Indicator, and the Chicago Fed's National Financial Conditions Index.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED II)
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/
FRED II includes time-series data for variables such as GDP, interest rates, exchange rates, consumer prices, and banking. There also also add-ins available to access and use FRED data in Excel, R, R (again), Stata, and Stata (again). Most of the data are from the 1950's onwards, though some series extend back prior to WWII.

Quandl
http://www.quandl.com/
Quandl is a data-aggregation site that provides access to roughly 7,000,000 indicators taken from multiple open, publicly-available sources such as government agencies (domestic and foreign) and international organizations. Note that Quandl classifies individual indicators as individual datasets. There are also tools to read datasets into various applications such as Excel and R and Stata.

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)
https://wrds-web.wharton.upenn.edu/wrds/
WRDS is an excellent source for data on both company financials (via COMPUSTAT) and stock prices (via CRSP). The university's WRDS subscription also provides access to data for measures of market volatility, balance sheets of financial institutions, and models of asset performance. Access to the university's WRDS subscription requires registration to request an account.

Health

Health Indicators Warehouse
https://web.archive.org/web/20170131213553/http://www.healthindicators.gov
The Heath Indicators Warehouse was a very useful catalog of of data on a variety of health-related topics such as maternal health, mortality, risk behaviors, and health infrastructure, with data available at national, state, and/or county levels depending on the indicator. The site is no longer available, but you can access its list of data sources and its lists of indicators via the Internet Archive.

IPUMS Health Surveys
https://www.ipums.org/healthsurveys.shtml
The University of Minnesota's IPUMS project has created harmonized microdata from the National Health Interview Surveys series and harmonized the data for easier comparisons over time. The integrated data consist of samples from different iterations of the NHIS dating back to the 1960s. IPUMS has a similar project for data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey series. IPUMS also provides harmonized microdata from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/
The NCHS, which is part of the CDC, contains much data on various health indicators at both national and state levels. The Data Warehouse may be of particular interest, as it provides access to public-use microdata from surveys such as the National Health Interview Survey. The National Vital Statistics System may also be of interest for data and historical reports on births, deaths, and marriages.

Social Science Electronic Data Library (SSEDL)
http://www.socio.com/members/memonly.htm
The Social Science Electronic Data Library is an archive of over 300 datasets covering a variety of topic areas, including Adolescent Pregnancy, Aging, AIDS/STD's, the American Family, Disability in the US, and Maternal Drug Abuse. The archive is well-indexed and allows variable-level searches. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory. Many of the older studies are also available on CD-ROM's in the Data Center.

Data Services

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