The Northwest Federal Research Data Center (NWRDC) is a partnership between the US Census Bureau and the University of Washington with additional support from the State of Washington’s Office of Financial Management. This facility, located in the University District in Seattle, Washington, enables researchers to access restricted-use datasets. There are four types of data available: demographic data, economic data, linked business and household data, and public health data.

The NWRDC is part of a network of research data centers (RDCs) around the country.  Researchers who want to access the data available through an RDC must submit a research proposal and in most cases also explain how their work will provide benefits to the Census Bureau.  Researchers must also acquire appropriate security clearance. The NWRDC facility features sixteen workstations providing secure access through an encrypted VPN to a secure computing environment operating Red Hat Linux and standard statistical analysis software: SAS, R, STATA, Gauss, and MatLab. In addition, limited on-site printing is available.

UW faculty researchers with grants are expected to pay fees to access the NWRDC.  UW graduate students will not have to pay fees for dissertation related coursework.  Non-consortium researchers (i.e. not a researcher at UW or at the state government of Washington) will pay fees in all instances.  The NWRDC administrator, Graton Gathright, is a Census Bureau employee who interfaces with researchers, key US Census Bureau contacts, and the University of Washington administration.  Please contact Graton Gathright for information about conducting research at the NWRDC.

The NWRDC collaborates with and receives oversight from research faculty in the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences.

On this website, you will find information on applying to use the NWRDC, further descriptions of the datasets available, and other pertinent documents and links.