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Data/Research: Demographics & Diversity

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Back to Demographics & Diversity

Aside from instruction, research is a primary output of major universities. While some research centers are listed here, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all sources relevant to demographics and diversity in education. Check out what university-sponsored think tanks, research centers and consortiums might be near you, for they may have examined educational issues and collected data specific to your coverage area and readership.


National Center for Education Statistics

  • Digest of Education Statistics (NCES): Data on prekindergarten to graduate education, including number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates; educational attainment; finances; and federal funds for education, libraries, and international education. Data draws from NCES itself as well as other governmental and private sources.
  • The Condition of Education (NCES): A congressionally mandated report examining factors of preschool, elementary and secondary education, including enrollment, school characteristics and climate; principals, teachers, and staff; school financial resources; student assessments; and graduation rates. (Most recent report released in 2019 with data as recent as 2017).

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): Massive data repository for U.S. colleges, universities, and technical and vocational schools. It is a large-scale survey collecting school-level data on factors such as enrollment, tuition and pricing, admissions, graduation rates and financial aid. It will not drill down to student-level data.

Tip: If you’re new to navigating IPEDS, try one of the slideshows guiding you through the different modules.

Tip #2: Bookmark the glossary and reference it to be sure you correctly understand the terminology.

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center: Student-level data and research aiming to track enrollment and educational achievement. Some recent reports:

Pew Research Center: A nonpartisan think tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies and social science research. Pew does not take policy positions.

Tip: If you browse their “Fact Tank” series, you can find some intriguing analyses of federal education data on demographics and diversity. Here are a few examples:

Organizations With Strong Research

Lumina Foundation: A private foundation focusing on college attainment.

The Education Trust: National nonprofit producing research focusing on educational attainment gaps.

UCLA Civil Rights Project

Penn State Center for Education and Civil Rights

U.S. Government Accountability Office

The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University, a leading source on research into food and housing insecurity among college undergraduates.

ProPublica Documenting Hate News Index

ProPublica Miseducation: A ProPublica interactive database to examine racial disparities in school enrollment, discipline, achievement gap and educational opportunity.

CDC Resources

School Health Profiles: A system of surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, and territories. Areas of assessment include school health education requirements and content, physical education and physical activity, practices related to bullying and sexual harassment, and school policies related to tobacco-use prevention and nutrition.

Tip: The CDC gives the option of viewing the raw data for a particular reporting body. Here’s their guide on how to do that. But, you know, it’s the federal government so anyone’s guess how responsive they would be to such a request. It might be faster to call the state agency or school district and ask someone to send you the data. If they don’t accommodate you, get it through an open records request.