Links to National Data Sets

As a resource to faculty, students, researchers, and the community we have posted here some of the best sources of data sets related to urban and/or policy-related issues.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Inflation & Prices
  • Employment
  • Unemployment
  • Pay & Benefits
  • Spending & Time Use
  • Productivity
  • Workplace Injuries
  • International
  • Regional Resources

U.S. Census Bureau

The official U.S. government source for census data.

Common Good Forecaster

A project of the United Way and the American Human Development Project, the Common Good Forecaster shows how things might change in a community if educational outcomes were better — not only better jobs and higher incomes, but improved health, life expectancy, voter turnout, lower rates of incarceration, and prospects for children.

Current Population Survey

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years.

The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. The sample is scientifically selected to represent the civilian noninstitutional population. Respondents are interviewed to obtain information about the employment status of each member of the household 15 years of age and older. However, published data focus on those ages 16 and over. The sample provides estimates for the nation as a whole and serves as part of model-based estimates for individual states and other geographic areas.

Foreclosure Response Project

The Foreclosure Response project is a new collaboration of the Center for Housing Policy, KnowledgePlex, LISC, and the Urban Institute. As part of this project, LISC has developed datasets with foreclosure “needs scores” for Community Development Block Grant jurisdictions and at the ZIP Code level within each state. These scores incorporate measures of subprime lending, foreclosures, delinquency, and vacancies to help state and local officials quickly assess the relative needs of different jurisdictions for neighborhood stabilization funding within each state and allocate funds accordingly.

National Bureau of Economic Research

Broad and rich collection of key data, some generated by the NBER, but many generated by other sources.

National Center for Charitable Statistics

The National Center for Charitable Statistics is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States. NCCS is a program of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) at the Urban Institute.

School District Demographics Site (SDDS)

The School District Demographics site provides information about demographics, social characteristics, and economics of children and school districts from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

State of the Cities Data Systems (SOCDS)

The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.

  • Detailed demographic and economic characteristics of the population
  • Latest available unemployment rates
  • Jobs, Business Establishments, and Average Pay since the 1990s
  • Violent and property crime rates collected by the FBI
  • Local building permits
  • City and suburban government
  • Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS)

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