The RDC is a partnership between the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau and Duke University, in cooperation with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), North Carolina State University (NCSU), and RTI International (RTI). Under this partnership, the Census Bureau allows researchers with approved proposals to perform statistical analysis on non-public microdata from the Census Bureau's economic and demographic censuses and surveys.  Interested researchers are encouraged to contact the RDC administrator (Bert Grider) or executive director (Gale Boyd) for more information.

The RDC consists of two secure computer laboratories, one located at Duke and the other at RTI, and is one of more than a dozen sites in an expanding network of Research Data Centers located around the U.S.  A wide variety of research has been conducted across the RDC network.  A unique proposal process exists for accessing non-public Census data in the RDC.

In addition to hosting projects using Census data, the center also hosts projects using non-public data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under agreement with those agencies.  Applications to use NCHS or AHRQ data in the lab are submitted directly to those agencies with an indication that the research will occur in the RDC.

Faculty, students, and staff from Duke, RTI, UNC, or NCSU may use the RDC without cost for their Census-approved research projects, making the RDC is a unique opportunity for qualified researchers in the region.  (Non-affiliated researchers may use the RDC on a fee basis, and any researcher using NCHS and AHRQ data might be charged a data preparation fee by those agencies.)  Any interested researcher should contact the RDC before beginning work on a proposal.

Research Policies and Procedures

RDC Operations

All research is conducted in secure laboratories located at Duke University that are operated in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies (CES).

The RDC is supported by member institutions with initial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Non-members may access the RDC laboratories for a fee.

Census Data

Census Data in the Research Data Center

The Research Data Center (RDC) is a secure computing environment providing access to restricted Census micro data for approved research projects.  These data sets are not a regular part of the Census Bureau data dissemination program and are not otherwise publicly available. 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.

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