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U.S. Economic Data: Economic Surveys

Sources for statistical data from the United States federal government.

Census of Population and Housing

2010 Census of Population and Housing

2000 Census of Population and Housing

1990 Census of Population and Housing

Decennial Census, Historical

Business and Goverment Surveys

Economic Census
Conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau, currently covering years ending in 2 and 7 (e.g., 1987, 1992, etc.). Until the mid-20th century, these surveys were part of the Decennial Censuses (see at left).

Annual Survey of Manufactures
Conducted since 1949, the Survey provides detailed annual statistics on the location, activities, and products of U.S. manufacturers.

Census Bureau - Economic Surveys
Descriptive and contact information for each survey, plus links to related surveys and online data.

Census of Governments
Quinquennial survey conducted since 1957 covering government organization, taxable property values, public employment, and government finances.  Earlier data on government entities may be found with the Decennial Censuses (see above).

Income and Labor

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Starting points for descriptions of BLS surveys, methodology, and access to data:

Current Population Survey (CPS)
 A monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years and is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population. [Edited excerpt from "Overview" on the Current Population Survey web site,]

  • Online:
    • CPS at Census / CPS at BLS
    • DataFerrett  Data from several surveys. Includes microdata, aggregated, time series, and longitudinal data.  Allows customized tabulations. Tutorial on its use.
    • IPUMS CPS  Long time series of Census and CPS data. IPUMS is an interface to microdata, to provide custom extractions; NHGIS is an interface to aggregated data and GIS layers. Extract raw ASCII data and codebook, with loading files for Stata, SAS, and SPSS.
    • CPS Data at the NBER  The National Bureau of Economic Research archives microdata from several of the CPS surveys in several popular data formats (e.g., Stata, SPSS, SAS) along with some technical documentation (sample weights, etc.).
    • Public microdata from several key surveys (e.g., ACS, CPS, SIPP) in Stata format.
  • Paper: Current Population Reports. Docs. Census Reference C 3.186: [see catalog for specific call numbers/holdings].  These are summary reports based on CPS data. Use "search within results" and sorting to focus, or use subject facets on the left. Or use the Subject Index to Current Population Reports and Other Population Report Series (Report P23-192, published August 1996, at Docs Census Ref C 3.186:P-23/192).
  • Paper: Measuring 50 Years of Economic Change Using the March Current Population Survey. Docs. Census Ref. C 3.186:P-60/203. Overview and history of the Current Population Survey, including numerous charts & graphs and historical time series up to 1997. Also available on the web in PDF format at

Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)
rom the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Program: Public Use microdata from Cornell

Other LEHD data (Census Bureau):  Including restricted-use microdata

Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
The purpose of the program, as stated on their web site, is: "To collect source and amount of income, labor force information, program participation and eligibility data, and general demographic characteristics...".

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) also has SIPP data files for 1984-2014 in several formats.