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Michigan State University

Religion: Data and Statistics: Data Archives

This is a guide to finding data and statistics about religion.

About Data Archives

Data archives contain raw data files that are used for secondary analysis in research. 
Data set files are usually downloaded and manipulated using statistical software such as SPSS or SAS.  Sometimes data archives will provide tools for online analysis as well.

Below is a selected list of data archives.  For a more complete listing of data archives go to DataBib.


The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) is a project funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and acts to preserve quantitative data on American religion, to improve access to this data, to increase the use of the data, and to allow comparisons across data files.

The ARDA collection includes data on:

-Churches and Church Membership
-Religious Professionals
-Religious Groups


The North American Jewish Data Bank is the central repository of social scientific studies of North American Jewry.

The Data Bank archives and makes available electronically questionnaires, reports and data files from the National Jewish Population Surveys (NJPS) of 1971, 1990 and 2000-01. In addition to the NJPS studies, the Data Bank provides access to other national Jewish population reports, including the American Jewish Identity Survey (AJIS) and the Survey of Heritage and Religious Identification (HARI), 2002. Approximately 100 local Jewish community studies from the major Jewish communities in North America are also included in the Data Bank holdings.


The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the world's largest social science data archive.  MSU maintains a membership which allows students and faculty to download data sets and use other online tools by registering with your email address.

The bulk of religion studies in ICPSR have to do with public attitudes.  A sample list of topical studies on religion is provided here.  You can also search or browse through a complete list of studies categorized by religion subject terms


The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is one of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are represented.


The Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive houses policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the United States. 

Some studies on public opinion related to the arts include questions about religion.  In particular, see the Arts and Religion Survey (1999).

Michigan State University