ICPSR is the world's largest collection of digital social science data - https://www.lib.umd.edu/data/services/icpsr. These data can be used for secondary research, instructional activities, and to write articles, papers or theses.  ICPSR data cover topics from sociology, political science, economics, demography, education, child care, health care, crime, minority populations, aging, terrorism, substance abuse, mental health, public policy, and international relations.

Available Data

Find available data at the ICPSR website.  Some studies are freely available, while most studies require membership in ICPSR for access.  There are studies that are wholly or partially restricted from viewing and use, generally for security/privacy concerns, and these studies will contain information about those restrictions in the study documentation.

All data files arrive in compressed (.zip) format from ICPSR. This format is can be decompressed using WinZip or another compression / decompression package. You will need to decompress the files prior to using them. Electronic codebook files are generally in Adobe Acrobat Reader format (.PDF), text format (.txt), or Word (.doc or .docx) format.

There are several types of files that can be included with any data set.

  • DA - data file. Contains the raw data information
  • CB - codebook file. Describes the dataset, its variables, their locations, etc
  • SP - SPSS file. Typically reads variables into SPSS
  • SA - SAS file. Typically reads variables into SAS
  • DI - Data Dictionary


For additional information, we strongly encourage you to visit the official UMCP ICSPR website, which can be accessed at: https://www.lib.umd.edu/dbfinder/id/UMD09236



ICPSR - a partner in social science research