Secondary Data Sources

Below are a list of publically available (or partially publically available) secondary data sources and the respective links for each. 

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Kids Count

KIDS COUNT®, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children - and to raise the visibility of children's issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

Making Connections

The Making Connections initiative, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), is a collaboration of local organizations and residents that seeks to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children by strengthening their families, improving their neighborhoods, and raising the quality of local services. This initiative includes a diverse set of places in terms of race, ethnicity, immigrant populations, physical and economic conditions, yet all are disadvantaged relative to their surrounding metropolitan areas. Information about the Making Connections initiative may be found on the AECF website.

Center for Disease Control

Data Set Directory

National Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. The YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted CDC and state, territorial, tribal, and district surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.

Sortable Stats 2.0
Would you appreciate having data on death rates, risk factors, and other public health indicators for a state/region at the click of your mouse? The updated Sortable Stats 2.0 site ( provides users with easy access to extensive public healthdata on a state/region and enables comparison with other states/regions and the nation. Sortable Stats is an interactive database with data on 31 behavioral risk factors and health indicators.With Sortable Stats 2.0, users can:

  •          View, sort, and analyze data at the state, regional, and national levels.
  •          Sort indicator data by demographic categories (e.g., race, gender, age) and historical trends.
  •          View data in graphs, tables, and maps. 
  •          Easily export data to Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint, or for use in other materials. 

National Institute of Health (NIH)

The Research Infrastructure for Demographic and Behavioral Population Science

Research infrastructure support has been essential in developing and advancing demography and other population science across disciplinary and institutional barriers. Demography is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field, drawing from the academic disciplines of sociology and economics, as well as geography, anthropology, and other social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. These academic disciplines are housed in a variety of academic departments and, often, across several schools or divisions within a university. 

United States Census

American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.


Food Access Research Atlas (formerly Food Desert Locator)

The Food Access Research Atlas:

  • Presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility;
  • Provides food access data for populations within census tracts; and
  • Offers census-tract-level data on food access that can be downloaded for community planning or research purposes.

 What can you do with the Atlas?

  • Create maps showing food access indicators by census tract using different measures and indicators of supermarket accessibility;
  • Compare food access measures based on 2015 data with the previous 2010 measures;
  • View indicators of food access for selected subpopulations; and
  • Download census-tract-level data on food access measures.

Food Environment Atlas

Food environment factors--such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics--interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research is beginning to document the complexity of these interactions, but more is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions.

The objectives of the Atlas are:

  • to assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and
  • to provide a spatial overview of a community's ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.


Add Health

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 1994-95 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 on the family, neighborhood, community, school, friendships, peer groups, and romantic relationships, providing unique opportunities to study how social environments and behaviors in adolescence are linked to health and achievement outcomes in young adulthood. The fourth wave of interviews expanded the collection of biological data in Add Health to understand the social, behavioral, and biological linkages in health trajectories as the Add Health cohort ages through adulthood.

Association of Religion Data Archives

The ARDA Data Archive is a collection of surveys, polls, and other data submitted by researchers and made available online by the ARDA.

There are nearly 675 data files included in the ARDA collection. You can browse files by category, alphabetically, view the newest additionsmost popular files, or search for a file. Once you select a file you can preview the results, read about how the data were collected, review thesurvey questions asked, save selected survey questions to your own file, and/or download the data file.

As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama's administration, increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of

European Social Survey

The European Social Survey (the ESS) is a biennial multi-country survey covering over 30 nations. The first round was fielded in 2002/2003, the fifth in 2010/2011.

The project is funded jointly by the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and academic funding bodies in each participating country, and is designed and carried out to exceptionally high standards. The project is directed by a Core Scientific Team led by Rory Fitzgerald at the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, London.

The questionnaire includes two main sections, each consisting of approximately 120 items; a 'core' module which remains relatively constant from round to round, plus two or more 'rotating' modules, repeated at intervals. The core module aims to monitor change and continuity in a wide range of social variables, including media use; social and public trust; political interest and participation; socio-political orientations; governance and efficacy; moral; political and social values; social exclusion, national, ethnic and religious allegiances; well-being; health and security; human values; demographics and socio-economics.

General Social Survey

The GSS contains a standard 'core' of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions, plus topics of special interest. Many of the core questions have remained unchanged since 1972 to facilitate time-trend studies as well as replication of earlier findings. The GSS takes the pulse of America, and is a unique and valuable resource. It has tracked the opinions of Americans over the last four decades.

The GSS is widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends. The 1972-2010 GSS has 5,416 variables, time-trends for 2,072 variables, and 268 trends having 20+ data points. You can find links to pre-generated trends or create your own tables in and SDA (1972-2010) and NESSTAR (1972-2006). To generate time-trends in SDA  (1972-2010) using its cross-tabulation program, specify the variable you would like to analyze as a "column" variable, and then specify the variable YEAR as the "row" variable, and request percentaging by rows (instead of columns).

Since 1982 the GSS has had a Cross-National component. In 1982 and 1984 there were bilateral collaborations between the GSS and the Allgemeinen Bevolkerungsumfragen der Socialwissenschaften (ALLBUS) at the Zentrum fuer Umfragen, Methoden, und Analysen (ZUMA) in Germany. Since 1985 the cross-national module has been developed as part of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) which was organized by Australia, Great Britain, West Germany, and the United States. The ISSP currently has 49 members.

ICPSR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

ICPSR seeks research data and pertinent documents from researchers, including PIs, research agencies and government entities. We process, preserve, and disseminate the data and documents. We also provide education, training, and instructional resources to help users understand and analyze research data.

National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

National Congregations Study

The National Congregations Study surveys a representative sample of America's churches, synagogues, mosques and other local places of worship. It gathers information about a wide range of characteristics and activities of congregations.

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)

The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building.

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce

Helping the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public's health

RAND Corporation

RAND focuses on the issues that matter most such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. With a research staff consisting of some of the world's preeminent minds, RAND has been expanding the boundaries of human knowledge for more than 60 years. As a nonpartisan organization, RAND is widely respected for operating independent of political and commercial pressures. See History and Mission.

Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey

Social Capital Community Benchmark comprises both a national sample of some 3,000 respondents and community respondents in 42 communities nationwide (across 29 states) covering an additional 26,700 respondents. The survey measures everything from levels of giving blood, to hanging out with friends, to participating in various groups and associations, to levels of trust, to participation in group arts and group sports, to the diversity of our friendship patterns. The release of the dataset for the survey will enable researchers around the country to undertake their own research on these topics.

In a historic partnership, the community foundations (in concert with a few private funders) releasing the survey are embarking on efforts to rebuild levels of connectedness in their communities, as community catalysts and funders. Community foundations are private philanthropic organizations governed by a cross-section of their community's leadership. Within their specified geographical areas, they raise and manage permanent local endowment funds, distribute grants, and mobilize leadership and organizational resources to address community needs and opportunities.

The Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey was designed by the Saguaro Seminar and drew upon the lessons learned from a Social Capital Measurement Workshop held at Harvard University in October 1999. The Saguaro Seminar was guided in survey development by a 9-person Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of leading scholars on measuring social capital and on cross-racial social trends.

The Survey builds upon two comprehensive efforts: the work of Professor Robert Putnam, Harvard University (author of Bowling Alone: Collapse and Revival of the American Community) and strategies for civic revitalization outlined in Better Together, a recent Saguaro Seminar report. The work of Professor Putnam "details how markedly civic ties have weakened over the last generation and the price that Americans pay for these frayed ties in the quality of education, physical health and happiness, community safety, the responsiveness of democratic institutions of government, and economic development." Better Together is an accumulation of three years of dialogue among a diverse group of thinkers and doers. It "details promising strategies for increasing our social capital through faith-based efforts, schools and youth, the workplace, politics, and the arts." The report is available online at:

World Values Survey

The World Values Survey (WVS) is a worldwide network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life. The WVS in collaboration with EVS (European Values Study) carried out representative national surveys in 97 societies containing almost 90 percent of the world's population. These surveys show pervasive changes in what people want out of life and what they believe. In order to monitor these changes, the EVS/WVS has executed five waves of surveys, from 1981 to 2007.


* NOTE - descriptions above were copied from source websites.