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Census Data Resources

Public Use Microdata Sample


Sample of survey data that provide anonymized observations from individual people or housing units.


U.S. Census microdata from 1790 to 2010 and American Community Survey microdata from 2000 to the present. You will need to create a free account with IPUMS to access the data. This account is not connected to your WVU account.

Getting Started


Create an account

To access data you will need to create an account with IPUMS. Your account with IPUMS is not related to WVU.


Create Your Custom Data Set

This will allow you to build a data extract using selected samples and variables.


Online tools for Analysis

Run quick analysis with selected variables and samples.


Supplemental Data

Additional tools and data sets available through IPUMS.

Creating Your Custom Data Set


Select Sample

Allows you to select survey, data range, and sample size. Click on the name or sample size to get a description of the survey or sample size. When you have your samples selected click Submit Sample Selections to add them to your cart.


Select Variables

You can select your variables by either category (household or person). You can also browse variables using the A-Z or use search to find a variable with keywords.

Harmonized Variables

Consistently coded across census years.

Source Variables

Original variable names that are unique to the sample and have not been recoded to match across surveys.


Add Variables to Cart

Click on a category or locate variables using browse or search to access information about available variables.


Click on the name of the variable to learn more about it.

Description: description of the variable.

Codes: value labels and time frame availability.

Universe: how the value has changed over time.

Availability: time range available.


X - data is available

. - data is not available

Add to cart

Click on the to add variable to cart.


View Cart

Allows you to view export options for variables and samples that you have selected.

Create Dataset

Allows you to choose export options.

Data Format

Use the default format. You can get the syntax for the software program you are using and it help IPUMS server to use .dat files.


Revise and specify your dataset.

Submit Extract

Exports dataset. When your data is ready you can download the data, the syntax for the software program, and the codebook.

Census MDAT

Provides access to American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS) Public Use Microdata sample files.

1Select a dataset (survey) and vintage (year) and click Next.

2Select a variable(s) by clicking on the checkbox next to it.

  • You can view specific detail about a variable by clicking on Details.
  • You can browse the available variables or you use the Topic Filter to narrow down the categories.
  • MDAT is still in BETA and does not have variable search functionality yet.

3Click on the geographies tab to add the area you want to data on.

  • Available geographies are region, division, state, and public use microdata area.
  • Not choosing a geography will default the dataset to the United States.

4Click on the data cart tab to see what data you have selected.

  • You can recode the data here, as well as create custom groups.

5Click on the table layout tab to adjust what variable are in you table and where they appear.

6When you have everything properly selected click on the download tab.

ICPSR | United States Census Bureau

Searchable repository of Census data using the ICPSR interface. Contains multiple surveys and provides datasets in multiple formats and with codebooks.

1Search for datasets using the search box or click on browse to see all 963 datasets.

2On your results page you will see the listing of studies that your search produced in the middle of the screen.

  • On the left hand column will be a list of filters you can use to limit your search.

3To access the data, simply click on the title of the study your are interested in.

  • This will take you to the record page for the study. From here you get information about the study including the scope of the project, investigators, funding agency, how to cite the study, variable that were used, and any publication that used the data.

4To download the data and documentation, click on Download.

  • You can see all available format the dataset is available in.

What happens if the data is restricted

Restricted-use data are distributed in cases when removing potentially identifying information would significantly impair the analytic potential of the data, or in cases where data contain highly sensitive personal information and cannot be shared as a public-use file. In these circumstances, ICPSR provides access to a restricted-use version that retains the confidential data but requires controlled conditions for accessing them. Access is only granted following an application process during which researchers agree to follow strict legal and electronic requirements for maintaining data confidentiality. The sections below provide further information on locating, applying for, and accessing restricted data at ICPSR.