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What are Data Sets?
Data sets provide the raw, statistical data gathered by various surveys. They are of interest to serious researchers who wish to ask specific questions which pre-packaged reports of the survey results may not answer.
You will need both a statistical software program, such as SPSS, and knowledge of how the survey data was coded for processing (the "codebook") in order to make use of data sets.
Where to Get Data Sets
The majority of the statistical sites listed elsewhere in this guide, particularly those from government agencies, do provide downloads of their data sets.
Much government data (all free) is collated at Data.gov.
CSUSB users can check the ICPSR for access to a huge variety of data sets.
Convenient gathering point for government-produced data sets and geospatial data. Raw data available for download; some online analysis tools provided.
General Social Survey
Unique resource tracking social change in the US since the 1970's. (Data from the GSS is included at ICPSR.) You can do some data analysis using tools at the web site, but be advised, it's not designed for beginners.
(CSUSB users only.) Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data sets. CSUSB users must be on campus in order to create a "MyData" log-in, which can be used from anywhere for 6 months.
CALSPEAKS SSRIC Data Sets
CALSPEAKS at Sacramento State is a unique and ongoing academic investigation of public opinion in California, emphasizing the social, economic, political, and environmental issues that distinguish our state.