These are the datasets of our lives (43 of them, anyway)

We were discussing datasets in our graduate student proseminar yesterday, and started brainstorming a list of popular ones. I posted it on Twitter and lots of people chimed in with others. I culled the list down with some arbitrary criteria: Current or ongoing surveys, with microdata from individual/household/family units of analysis, with US samples, publicly available data (some with permission required). More or less.

Then I took the 43 qualified surveys and searched for them in the Web of Science database of research articles (All Fields survey name in quotes in Wos Category sociology Document Type article Year 2012-2022; conducted 15 Oct 2022 [with some name variations]). I posted the result as a Google doc.

Please feel free to take this list and do anything you want with it. It would be great if someone (with a library?) maintained something like this, with links to resources like data and code and bibliographies, and kept it up to date.

Better yet, someone should automate it.

Anyway, here it is:

Survey datasets sociologists use: Crowdsourced list

Survey titleArticle count
General Social Survey433
Add Health (National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health)331
World Values Survey203
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth172
Panel Study of Income Dynamics147
American Community Survey141
International Social Survey Programme131
Current Population Survey106
Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study101
Early Childhood Longitudinal Study67
American Time Use Survey50
National Survey of Family Growth46
National Health Interview Survey43
Decennial Censuses39
Survey of Income and Program Participation39
American National Election Studies38
Cooperative Election Study (formerly Cooperative Congressional Election Study)34
Wisconsin Longitudinal Study32
National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project29
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey22
Survey of Consumer Finances22
Monitoring the Future16
National Crime Victimization Survey16
Midlife in the United States15
Consumer Expenditure Survey12
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System11
Americans’ Changing Lives10
NCHS Birth and Death Records7
Health and Retirement Survey5
Human Mortality Database5
American Housing Survey5
Understanding America Study3
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System2
CDC Wonder1
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System1
Human Fertility Database1
National Survey of Early Care and Education1
Comparative Panel File1
NYC Community Health Survey1
National Couples’ Health and Time Study1
National Survey of Chidren’s Health0
National Wellbeing Survey0
National Center for Education Statistics – National Longitudinal StudySearch failed

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