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What are microdata?
Microdata are composed of individual records containing information collected on persons, households, or other entities. The responses of each person to the different questions are recorded in separate variables. Microdata stand in contrast to more familiar "summary" or "aggregate" data. Aggregate data are compiled statistics, such as a table of marital status by sex for some locality. Microdata are inherently flexible. One need not depend on published statistics from a census that compiled the data in a certain way, if at all. Users can generate their own statistics from the data in any manner desired, including individual-level multivariate analyses.
Sources of Microdata
Abacus: British Columbia Research Libraries data services
Collection includes data from Statistics Canada, DMTI Spatial, and other sources. Divided into a series of collections, corresponding to each university, plus one larger shared data collection. Users can download entire datasets.
To log in, choose "University of Northern British Columbia" from the drop-down menu, and enter your UNBC username and password.
Data Liberation Initiative (DLI)
Selected Statistics Canada data, including public use microdata files (PUMFs), aggregate data, and databases.
To Access PUMFs, through DLI Nesstar for data extraction and/or basic analysis. Select Nesstar
. Click on the plus sign next to Statistics Canada Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF)
to analyse or extract the PUMF data. If the survey dataset you are looking for is not listed, check the Tentative release dates of DLI products
A repository of Canadian social sciences data, including public use microdata files (PUMFs) and statistical tables from Statistics Canada, as well as public opinion polling data from companies such as Gallup Canada and Ipsos Reid. <odesi> is expanding its survey data to include other national and international data sources. Users can explore, analyze, subset, and download datasets.
<odesi> video tutorials
CHASS microdata analysis and subsetting with SDA
CHASS microdata analysis and subsetting with SDA allows users to analyze data from Statistics Canada surveys (Public Use Microdata files available through the DLI), as well as a number of foreign and international datasets. The following functions may be executed: frequencies or crosstabulations, comparison of means, correlation matrices, comparison of correlations, multiple regressions, logit or probit regressions, and value lists of individual cases. Data may also be extracted and downloaded for analysis in a statistical package such as SPSS.
Important: If a PUMF does not meet your needs, consider applying to use the corresponding confidential master file at the UNBC Research Data Centre. The variables for many of the master files may be reviewed in DLI Nesstar and <odesi>.
Located in the UNBC Library, the UNBC Research Data Centre (RDC) provides Northern BC researchers with the opportunity to access and analyze detailed microdata from an increasing array of survey, census and administrative data. Researchers working in RDCs have access to Statistics Canada Statistical Assistants and Analysts who can provide advice and assistance to researchers. Graduate and honours students are also encouraged to apply to use the data to support their research. In most cases, use of the RDC is free for researchers affiliated with UNBC.
They are happy to discuss research opportunities available within the RDC, and to provide assistance with matching your research ideas and topics to the data available in our collection. Contact the RDC at email@example.com or 250-960-5332.
Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research - archives of mostly US social science survey microdata
IPUMS-International is dedicated to collecting and distributing census microdata from around the world. The project goals are to collect and preserve data and documentation, harmonize data, and disseminate the harmonized data free of charge.
World Bank Microdata Library
The Microdata Library includes datasets that have been produced by the World Bank, such as impact evaluation of the Bank’s operations or research on development issues. The Microdata Library also includes datasets from other international organizations, statistical agencies and other agencies in low and middle-income countries.
The microdata in the Microdata Library have been collected through sample surveys of households, business establishments or other facilities. Datasets may also originate from population, housing or agricultural censuses or through an administrative data collection processes.