The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an organization of member institutions working together to acquire and preserve social science data, to provide open and equitable access to these data, and to promote effective data use.
ICPSR is the world's largest archive of computer-readable social science data. In addition to archiving collections from disciplines such as sociology, political science, history, and economics, ICPSR has seven special emphases in gerontology, substance abuse and mental health, criminal justice, child care, health and medical care, education, and demography.
While the ICPSR holdings include several time series and other types of aggregate data, the holdings consist mainly of raw data derived from surveys, censuses, and administrative records. These data were originally collected for specific research or administrative purposes. However, the data have research potential that outlives the original purposes for which they were collected. ICPSR preserves these valuable data resources and makes them publicly available for secondary analysis.
The first step is to create an ICPSR account. Click the link to the ICPSR home page below and click the "Create an Account" link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
To begin a project involving data analysis, you will first need to search for a dataset to answer your research questions. Then you can download the dataset and run a simple statistical procedure(*) on your own computer with your own software, or you can use the online data analysis system for a selection of the ICPSR datasets available on our site.
* You will need basic statistical skills for using the online analysis system and more advanced skills for running your own analysis, although SAS, SPSS, AND Stata setup files are provided with many ICPSR datasets.