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This list is not comprehensive—there are myriad sources of data you can get through your Berkeley affiliation as well as open data, government and otherwise!
As you look for a dataset to use, be sure to check out the UC Berkeley Library’s research guides, in particular Getting Started with the US Census, US Data and Statistical Sources, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems), for more in-depth information. You can also ask your librarian!
General data resources:
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research The place to start, ICPSR is the largest social science data archive in the US. This consortium (of which Berkeley is a member) acquires and preserves social science data from 130 countries. Includes survey data, census records, election returns, economic data, and legislative records. Has some excellent help pages and tutorials, and its staff will consult with users.
Harvard Dataverse. A Dataverse is an open source web application to share, preserve, cite, explore and analyze research data. Harvard's is the first and sort of like "dataverse central," with thousands of data sets across all academic fields but primarily in the social sciences.
Social Explorer Data and interactive thematic maps from the U.S. Census from 1790-present
National Historical Geographic Information Systemcontains summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography
Data Planet contains a wide variety of economic, social, political, and marketing indicators statistics. It allows for customization of the data by selecting subjects, and the ability to view your data in side-by-side tables, charts and maps. Also available to search using a ready reference interface..