University of Pittsburgh
This project supports the establishment of a Census Research Data Center (RDC) at the University Park campus of Pennsylvania State University. An RDC is a secure Census Bureau facility staffed by a Census Bureau employee that provides researchers who have approved research projects with access to confidential data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). There currently are 15 RDCs in major cities and research hubs in the country, and the Census is planning for future growth of the network. An RDC at Penn State will serve as a crucial resource to support research among faculty members and graduate students in the areas of economics, demography, statistics, sociology, geography, and the health sciences. Access to restricted-use data has become a necessary input into social science research. In addition, the Census Bureau is continually making new data sources available at the RDCs, which will make these centers even more valuable and necessary as a research tool in the future. An RDC at Penn State will contribute to the mission of the Census Bureau and existing RDC network through research programs in areas such as data confidentiality, imputation methods, and analytical tools for social science data. The development of new data sets through the merging of existing administrative sources or the integration of data from foreign countries that will then become available through the RDC network provide advantages to researchers throughout the network. The integration of graduate education and training at Penn State with the data resources in an RDC will help to produce future social science and health researchers. Finally, by integrating Penn State into the RDC network, it will greatly facilitate collaboration between researchers at Penn State and other universities and research institutions that currently have an RDC or will in the future. This ability to increase network ties with other researchers is one of the main long-term benefits of participating in the RDC network.