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The Research Data Center (RDC) is a secure computing environment providing access to restricted-use microdata from a variety of statistical agencies for approved research projects. These data sets are not otherwise publicly available.

Census Bureau Data

Descriptions are from the U.S. Census Bureau website

Administrative Data: Administrative data refers to data collected and maintained by federal, state, and local governments, as well as some commercial entities.  This information is called “administrative data” because data collected and maintained by agencies or firms are used to administer (or run) programs and provide services to the public.

Economic Data: Censuses and surveys of business establishments and firms. With very few exceptions, no public use versions exist for these files. This also includes Trade and Transactions data. External research projects using these data may require permission of the sponsoring agency. Most economic data contain Federal Tax Information (FTI). Use of these data requires approval of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Demographic Data: Microdata on households and individuals. Compared to their public use counterparts, the internal data files include more detailed geographic information, generally to the block level for the Decennial Census and census-tract level for surveys, as well as less restrictive top-coding. Individual identifiers such as name, address, and social security numbers have been removed.

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Data: The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data at the U.S. Census Bureau is a quarterly database of linked employer-employee data covering over 95% of employment in the United States. The LEHD data are generated by merging previously collected survey and administrative data on jobs, businesses, and workers.

UMETRICS Data: IMI’s Universities: Measuring the Impacts of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Science (UMETRICS) data are useful for analyzing the social and economic effects of research investments; the scientific production function; the career outcomes and earnings of graduate students and trainees; questions pertaining to science and engineering workforce and the STEM pipeline; and many other possible topics.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

All BLS restricted data available to researchers are based on released data.

Bureau of Economic Analysis Data

BEA collects company data about international transactions, foreign direct investment, the activities of multinational enterprises, and trade in services.


Nicole_Dalzell The Duke RDC lab allowed me the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project involving real, messy and sensitive data. A collaboration between statisticians and economists, I created a linked database that could be used by my collaborator in economics to explore the relationship between a federally funded audit program and energy efficiency in enterprises across the United States. This work allowed me to engage with an interdisciplinary team to solve a real data problem, gaining communication and teamwork skills as I created a data product that will be used to conduct deeper research into issues of energy efficiency.

– Nicole Dalzell, Assistant Teaching Professor of Statistics, Wake Forest University, Ph.D. Statistical Science, Duke University, 2017