The Minnesota Census Research Data Center (RDC) provides access to Census micro data for approved research projects (see proposal guidelines). These data sets are not a regular part of the Census Bureau data dissemination program. A detailed listing of available data sets is provided at the CES Data link which includes links to documentation and survey sponsors. Further information on the contents of the data sets listed can be found at the Census web page (www.census.gov). Researchers need to consult with a RDC Administrator on availability of particular data sets before writing research proposals.
Four groups of data sets are available:
Demographic Data: Censuses and surveys of households and individuals. These data are not public use files. Include complete geography (in many cases down to the block). Items such as income are not topcoded. Individual identifiers such as name, address, and social security numbers are not included.
Economic Data: Censuses and surveys of business establishments and firms. With very few exceptions, no public use files exist for these surveys.
Linked Business and Household Data: Uses modern statistical and computing techniques to combine federal and state administrative data on employers and employees with core Census Bureau censuses and surveys while protecting the confidentiality of people and firms that provide the data.
Public Health Data (Non-Census Data): The MnRDC now has access to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). A detailed description of the NCHS data and how to gain access through the RDC can be found at www.cdc.gov/nchs. Descriptions of the differences between NCHS RDC confidential data and public use versions of the data are given in this linked chart. A summary of NCHS surveys and data systems can be found here. A detailed description of AHRQ's MEPS-IC file and how to gain access through the RDC can be found on AHRQ's RDC web page. An informative health related research discussion paper can be found here: Health Related Research Using Confidential U.S. Census Bureau Data.