NSF Awards Funds for Northwest Census Research Data Center

The NSF has recently made an award to support the Northwest Census Research Data Center (NWCRDC) - a Census Research Data Center at UW (PI: Mark Ellis). A Census Research Data Center (RDC) is a dedicated lab space which provides access to a large range of datasets derived from tax, census, health, environment employment/industry and assorted other administrative records. These data include individual, employer, health, and environmental data unavailable in public data. Many of these datasets provide unique opportunities to study relationships between a variety of social, economic, environmental and health processes/outcomes at micro spatial scales with individual, commercial or institutional data. The Center for Economic Studies at the US Census Bureau coordinates the RDC network and they provide a list of the confidential demographic, economic, and health data that will be available at the NWCRDC when it opens next year.

To access these data, researchers submit a proposal to the Census Bureau and apply for security clearance. All output released meets census disclosure standards for confidentiality.

An RDC lab is a census bureau facility operating in partnership with a local host institution. Existing RDCs include

  • The Census Bureau in Washington DC
  • University of Michigan
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCLA
  • Duke/N. Carolina
  • U.Chicago/Northwestern/Chicago Fed
  • NYC (a consortium of universities and public agencies)
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Minnesota

    The ability to access data sets available through a local RDC will provide many basic research opportunities for researchers at UW and other regional higher education and research institutions working in social, economic, health, environment, public policy and related fields. State, federal, and local government agencies are also likely users.