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Michigan State University

Housing Data and Statistics: Introduction & General Sources

Data and statistics about housing and buildings.

Current Research in Housing

State of the Nation's Housing report cover
The State of the Nation's Housing (Annual Report) - Joint Center for Housing Studies
Online or in print at Call Number: HD 7293 .A1 S72 (1988-present)

Find additional reports at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Cityscape - U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research
Original research on housing and community development.

Other relevant research agencies:

Center for Housing Policy

Urban Institute

United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT)

International Resources

United Nations Statistics Division
The United Nations Statistics Division is responsible for collecting official national statistics on housing stock and housing conditions generated from population and housing censuses.

About this Guide

Sources of statistical information are held throughout the Michigan State University Libraries. This guide is not comprehensive; rather, it provides information on a selection of some of the most important general sources. This guide includes both freely available WWW resources as well as library subscription resources and print materials.

Please ask at the Main Library Reference Desk (floor 1 Center) if you need further assistance, or contact the author of this guide (listed to your right).

General Sources and Compendiums

Key Resources from the Federal Government

HUD USER - U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research
HUD USER offers an in-depth view of housing in the United States through research, data, and reports. Offers free downloads of more than 1,000 of the publications and data sets published by HUD’s Office of Policy Development & Research.

U.S. Census Bureau Housing Topics - U.S. Census Bureau
Start here for housing data from the Census including the American Housing Survey, American Community Survey, Decennial Census, Housing Vacancy Survey, and more.

Reference Resources

This is a sample of reference materials that provide comprehensive overviews of topical statistical information.  Be sure to check table source notes and appendixes for pointers to additional and more in-depth information.

ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States (2013-present)
Go to Section 20 for tables on Construction and Housing.

Statistical Abstract of the United States (1878-2012) - U.S. Census Bureau
Call number: C 3.134: or HA202. Print copies available 1878-present in multiple locations.
An annual publication offering statistics from federal agencies and numerous state, local, and non-governmental statistics.
See Construction and Housing.  Includes the following topics: authorization, starts and completions, commercial offices, construction indices and value, construction industry, homeownership and housing costs, housing sales, housing units and characteristics, housing and neighborhood quality.

Social Change in America: the historical handbook - edited by Patricia C. Becker
Call number: HA 203 .S746 2006 Online.
Presents a statistical portrait of the U.S. population with both current and historical information.
See Chapter 5: Housing.  Includes the following topics: homeownership, indicators of housing quality, age of housing, crowding, recent quality trends, household characteristics and amenities, heating equipment, household energy use and expenditures, housing costs and affordability, home purchase lending trends, non-traditional housing, emergency and transitional shelter population.

Historical Statistics of the United States - Millennial Edition Online
The standard source for the quantitative facts of American history.
See Chapter Dc: Construction, Housing, and Mortgages.

Housing Statistics of the United States - edited by Patrick A. Simmons
Call number: HD 7293 .H77 2000 Main Library Reference 1 Center

Research Data

Data Archives
Data archives contain raw data files that are used for secondary analysis in research.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Premier social science data archive.  Relevant subject terms include: housing, housing conditions, home ownership, homeless persons, mortgages, etc.


American Housing Survey
Portal website for the AHS.
The survey is conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).The American Housing Survey (AHS) collects data on the Nation's housing, including apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers. National data are collected in odd numbered years, and data for each of 47 selected Metropolitan Areas are collected currently about every six years. The national sample covers an average 55,000 housing units. Each metropolitan area sample covers 4,100 or more housing units.
See also the American Housing Survey website from HUD; American Housing Survey Series from ICPSR for dataset files and related literatures.

Statistical Indexes & Databases

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