Social Work Liaison's Toolkit : Data Sets

Sources of data sets on issues related to social welfare.


“The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.” Some state, county and city data may also be available on this site. 
This is the largest archive of social science data in the world. Data downloads may be restricted to member institutions.  Most downloads require an account.
Licensed resource by Sociometrics, provides data archives in nine topical areas including AIDS/STD, Adolescent Pregnancy, Aging, the American Family, Child Well-being, Disability, Maternal Drug Abuse, and more.

Topical/Subject Data Sets

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Public-Use Data Files and Documentation
Data sets  from numerous NCHS surveys and data collection systems.

Common Core of Data (CCD) - National Center for Education Statistics
Fiscal and nonfiscal data about public school students and staff collected annually. The dataset covers covers public elementary and secondary school districts from all 50 states in the U.S. Information is available on enrollment, student characteristics, dropout rates, participation in Free and Reduced-Price Lunch programs, Head Start participation and other useful information.

Current Population Survey (CPS)
The CPS is a monthly survey of labor force characteristics. The March Supplement to the CPS, the Annual Social And Economic Supplement, gives data on income, poverty, and health insurance for the country

Early Childhood Longitudinal Program (ECLP)
“The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) program includes three longitudinal studies that examine child development, school readiness, and early school experiences.”

Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study
“The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is following a cohort of nearly 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000 (roughly three-quarters of whom were born to unmarried parents).”  

General Society Survey (GSS)
The longest running project of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), GSS contains demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions with many core questions going back to the survey’s inception, 1972.

HUD User-Data Sets
HUD USER  (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) provides interested researchers with access to the original data sets generated by the Office of Policy Development and Research sponsored data collection effort.

National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)
This is the largest library of electronic data on aging in the United States. NACDA is located within ICPSR,  and is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
Collection housed at ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.)  

National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Datasets available include The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), Foster Care and Adoption files, and more.  Most free and for researchers across the U.S.  Affiliation with a university with an IRB may be necessary.

National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, (ADD HEALTH) 1994-2008
“The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 in the United States during the 1994-1995 school year. The Add Health cohort has been followed into young adulthood with four in-home interviews, the most recent in 2008, when the sample was aged 24-32. Add Health combines longitudinal survey data on respondents' social, economic, psychological and physical well-being with contextual data”

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
"The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), begun in 1968, is a longitudinal study of a representative sample of U.S. individuals (men, women, and children) and the family units in which they reside. It emphasizes the dynamic aspects of economic and demographic behavior, but its content is broad, including sociological and psychological measures."

Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Child Development Supplement
Information includes a broad array of developmental outcomes on children aged 0-12 including physical health, emotional well-being, intellectual and academic achievement, cognitive ability, social relationships with family and peers.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA)
SAMHDA is an initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) and allows you to search and download data sets, codebooks and documentation from national studies on substance abuse and mental health. You can also produce interactive maps and quick tables using this data.

Social Security-Public Use Data Files
Social Security public-use data files are subsets of survey or administrative data which have been released to the public with all identifying information removed.

Welfare Rules Database (Urban Institute)
A database designed to make it easy to compare cash assistance programs between states, follow changes in cash assistance funding in a selected state or find information on cash assistance rules by state.


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