Approved Researchers at UC Davis Get No-fee Access to Restricted U.S. Census Data

Approved researchers at UC Davis can now access non-public data from the U.S. Census Bureau and many other federal agencies without paying thousands of dollars in access fees.

The UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences has recently funded a partnership between the Social Science Data Service and the California Census Research Data Center (CCRDC) at UC Berkeley. Researchers and projects will still have to be approved for access by the Census Bureau, but this partnership will save UC Davis researchers up to $15,000 per project per year.

Datasets hosted at the CCRDC include economic data on businesses, individual and household demographic data, longitudinal data on employer-household dynamics and health data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Center for Health Statistics. To gain access to this restricted data, UC Davis researchers and their projects must be approved by the Census Bureau.

As a Census Research Data Center, the CCRDC provides access to non-public versions of government survey data that contain private or sensitive information. The restricted files contain levels of detail and geographic specificity that could identify the individuals or business who participated in the Census surveys. These non-public data let researchers investigate important questions at levels of precision that would otherwise not be possible.

The CCRDC provides access to these data under tightly controlled conditions to guarantee that sensitive information will not be disclosed. To access and conduct analysis with these data, researchers must work in the CCRDC facility’s secure environment at UC Berkeley.

Application materials for access to the CCRDC are available online. The staff at the Social Science Data Service on campus are available to help facilitate access. Contact them at the ssds-help@ucdavis.edu for more information.