Quantitative Social Science Data

Written for various quantitative methods courses that I teach at ESPOL in Lille and Sciences Po in Paris, and in which I use some of the datasets listed below.

Links last checked and updated in May 2019.

Links also provided for R and Stata data retrieval packages. R users can also turn to the Econometrics, Official Statistics, Open Data and Social Sciences Task Views.

Most datasets are individual-level or country-level. To merge country codes/names, use the countrycode (R) or kountry (Stata) packages.


Data repositories

Intergovernmental organizations

Nongovermental organizations

There is a long list of profit and nonprofit sources producing measures of human rights, environmental performance, good government and so on. Only a few examples are shown below.

Open data initiatives

Open data organizations, e.g. Open Knowledge International, Regards Citoyens (France) and the Sunlight Foundation (US), try to make – mostly governmental – data available to everyone via open data portals like CKAN. A few examples below.

National providers and surveys

Examples for four countries. For more providers, see the U.S. statistical agencies and world agencies lists by Brent Moulton at Political Arithmetick. For electoral surveys from those countries (and others), see the dedicated section.



United Kingdom

United States

Electoral surveys

Comparative surveys

Comparative politics

Focusing on (economic, institutional, political) country-level data, so excluding region-level like e.g. Regions of Russia (RoR).

International relations



Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), “Data Sources” (n.d.); ECPR Standing Group on Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour, “National Election Studies” (n.d.); Edelman, “Using Internet Data for Economic Research” (2012); Faoro et al., “Data Resources for Studies in Comparative Politics” (n.d.); Franzese, Jr., “Empirical Strategies for Various Manifestations of Multilevel Data” (2005); Pennings, Keman and Kleinnijenhuis, Doing Research in Political Science: An Introduction to Comparative Methods and Statistics (2005, p. 57); Smith, “Resources for Conducting Cross-National Survey Research” (2015); Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, and many other colleagues and students, with a special mention to Felix von Nostitz.

Data-related links

My bookmarks contain more (but less organised) links to social science, economic and health data, as well as some readings on e.g. data availability, the sociology of quantification, and statistical measurement.

Also, although they are not or less focused on social science, scientific data repositories like Figshare, OSF and Zenodo might also be worth a look, as well as Nature’s Scientific Data journal.

Last, there’s much more to it than just academic research data: try e.g. Awesome Public Datasets, Data.World, Google Public Data and Dataset Search, the Guardian Data Blog data index, or the /r/datasets and /r/dataisbeautiful Reddit channels.

P.S. I am not interested in documenting closed-source business data (re)sellers like Qlik DataMarket, Quandl and Statista.