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Racial Equity Research, Statistics, and Data Resources

(updated November 2021)

In January 2021, Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, prioritized a “a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” In response, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is assessing the current and historical equity of its programs.

To support that assessment, we have compiled the following list of currently available information on the racial and/or ethnic characteristics of the Social Security–covered population. In addition to research and statistical publications, we include surveys that provide the public-use data we use for many of our publications.

The list includes resources produced by SSA and those produced, with SSA funding or support, by independent (nongovernmental) researchers or the Census Bureau.

SSA

Research and evaluation
Statistics

Funded or supported by SSA

Research and evaluation
Surveys
  • American Community Survey (Census Bureau)
    Detailed data by race and ethnicity on income and other economic and demographic characteristics for the nation's civilian institutionalized and noninstitutionalized populations
  • Current Population Survey (Census Bureau)
    Monthly survey of 60,000 U.S. households with annual supplemental surveys, including the March Annual Social and Economic Supplement; covers labor force statistics for the U.S. population
  • Health and Retirement Study (University of Michigan)
    A longitudinal panel survey of a representative sample of Americans aged 51 or older with about 20,000 living respondents
  • Household Pulse Survey (Census Bureau)
    Biweekly online survey studying how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting households across the country from a social and economic perspective
  • Survey of Income and Program Participation (Census Bureau)
    A household-based survey consisting of multi-year panels that each have a nationally representative sample. It provides data on income, participation in government assistance programs, economic well-being, family dynamics, education, assets, health insurance, childcare, and food security.
  • Understanding America Study (UAS) (University of Southern California)
    A nationally representative Internet panel with about 9,000 respondents covering the U.S. population aged 18 or older. The UAS includes over 300 surveys on Social Security retirement and disability programs, retirement planning, economic well-being, and cognition and personality measures. Registration is required for access.