Immigration Policy Guide: Data & Statistics

Research guide for CUSSW course on Immigration Policy

Research Data Services (RDS)

Get help finding data or performing statistical analyses! Schedule a data consultation with your librarian or drop by Research Data Services in Lehman Library RDS Walk-in Hours

Short cuts RDS guides:

Data Repositories


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: The principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
  • FedStats: Gateway to statistics produced by more than 100 U.S. government agencies.
  • Sage Stats: Database of 6,000+ current and historical data series from federal and state government and non-government sources.  
  • Statista: Statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries.
  • Statistical Insight: Statistical information from the U.S. government, international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), state governments, and private sources. 
  • UN Statistics
  • US Census Comparative Statistics
  • European Union Documents: EU's reports, Statistics, and EU libraries.
  • Vital statistics on American Politics: Provides basic statistical information on U.S. government and politics: elections, Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, campaign finances, and more
  • World Statistics 

Guiding Questions to Help Find Data

Before you begin to search for your data, work through these questions and note your answers. They will help you in your search. Consider the Data & Statistics for Journalists Research Guide for more information. 
  • Do you already know this data exists?
    • For instance, if you found it referenced in a newspaper or other article, note the citation, or any related information like who collected the data and when. You may be able to use this to find the original data source--even if it takes a little detective work with your friendly librarian!
  • Do you need raw data or statistics?
  • What geography level do you need? (country, state, city, neighborhood, etc.)
  • Are there time contraints (a range of years, monthly, quarterly, annually)? 
  • What is the unit of analysis?
    • Are you comparing individuals or groups?
    • Do you need microdata or macrodata?
  • What is the topic or subject?
    • You can search by topic in the Data by Topic tab.
    • Think about who might collect this data, and for what purpose (collectors of data include: government agencies, nonprofits, NGOs, businesses, and academic researchers).
  • Do you need demographic data (characteristics that define a population, such as: gender, age, ethnicity, language, housing, employment)?
    • If so, then you may find that most of the data you need is available from the US Census Bureau and/or the NYC Department of Planning (DCP).
  • Do you know what kind of analysis you want to perform on your data?
  • Are you interested in creating maps (using spatial data)?
  • What software will you use? Where can you get training and help? Can you download this software and/or use it on campus?


Political Data

  • iPoll Databank @ the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research: A comprehensive source for U.S. nationwide public opinion that indexes and reports at question-level, 1935 to present.
  • Luxemburg Cross-national Data CenterAccess to U.S. national polls by searching question wording. 
  • Polling the Nations: Contains polls taken on a variety of subjects all over the world. Each record consists of one poll question and the participants' responses.
  • Pew Research Center -- Immigration: An independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization. National, international and trans-national surveys covering attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues
  • State Stats: Data from more than 80 different U.S. government and non-government sources. Collection of more than 2,000 current and historical data series on popular topics of research interest.
  • UNdata: More than 450 statistical time series for countries from around the world covering a wide range of economic and socio-demographic topics.