In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, IRiSS hosts one of the nation’s 31 Federal Statistical Research Data Centers, providing access to restricted data for researchers from Stanford as well as nearby universities. Approved projects can access microdata from the Census Bureau's economic and demographic surveys and censuses, restricted-use data from NCHS and AHRQ, and administrative data from partnered federal, state, and local governments.
The Stanford RDC administrator is sheffield.e.lesure [at] census.gov (S. Emi Lesure), PhD.
As an economist who studies interactions between workers and firms, I rely heavily on rich U.S. Census Bureau data, which is housed in the RDC system. Consequently, the vast majority of my work could not be done without access to an RDC. As a grad student, having easy and nearby access to the Stanford RDC, hosted by IRiSS, allowed me to start and develop this research agenda; the RDC was a key input into all works in my dissertation and ultimately allowed me to pursue a career in academia.
What data are available in Federal Statistical Research Data Centers?
The Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs) located across the country—managed and administered by the U.S. Census Bureau—make two types of restricted data accessible to approved researchers: survey and census data, and administrative data.
The former is largely comprised of data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in the course of its surveys and censuses, such as the decennial census and the American Community Survey. As a whole, the content of these Census Bureau RDC data can be broadly categorized as demographic (e.g., decennial census, American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, American Housing Survey, National Crime Victimization Survey) and economic (e.g.., Longitudinal Business Database, economic censuses, Annual Survey of Manufactures, Survey of Business Owners, Longitudinal Firm Trade Transactions Database).