State Data Center

The State Data Center is a consortium of agencies cooperating with the US Bureau of the Census to provide the public with data about the state and its component geographic areas. The SDC lead agency is located in the Demographic and Economic Analysis Section of OSBM, where it provides extensive resources for retrieving statistical information.

Three state-level coordinating agencies work closely with the lead agency:

Local Affiliates -- Seventeen regional affiliates, ten public libraries, and six associated agencies serve data users in their service area. Seven academic affiliates offer specific subject expertise, such as agriculture and economics.

For more, see our Guide to the State Data Center and our History.


NC State Data Center

To provide efficient access to US Census data and products, provide training and technical assistance to data users, and provide feedback to the Census Bureau on data usability, state and local government data needs, and operational issues.

The State Data Center supports the legislative mandate of G.S. 143C-2-2 regarding the collections of state statistics.


National SDC Program

Agencies look to the NC SDC for best practices in collecting, analyzing, searching for, archiving, describing, and presenting data both in static files and delivered on the web from database applications.

Guide to the NC State Data Center

Tab/Accordion Items

Any of the State Data Center network's 44 state and local agencies will help you find information or will refer you to the most appropriate node to respond to your specific question. Typically, the best place to start is with the Data Center node that is nearest you or nearest the geographic area you are researching.

If you:

  • represent a state agency or need information concerning several non-contiguous areas of the state, begin with staff at Information Services, State Library of North Carolina, 919/807-7450. 
  • need information about a particular county, or sub-county area, contact the local affiliated Data Center whose service area includes your area of interest. Each area of the state is served by both a library and a Lead Regional Organization (LRO) affiliate. The library contact person can assist with a wide variety of data sources, while the LRO person has very specific local data and may have developed specialized data products. A current list of affiliate addresses and telephone numbers is available from Paula Jones, Office of State Budget and Management.
  • represent a college or university, contact Ed Bachmann at the Odom Institute for Research in Social Science (IRSS) at UNC-Chapel Hill, 919/962-0512.
  • need digital data, specialized mapping, and census TIGER files, contact Jeff Brown at the Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (CGIA), 919/733-2090. The State Library and several affiliate centers can assist with simple thematic mapping of data.
  • need to know what State agency to contact for detailed data on a particular subject, contact Information Services, the State Library of North Carolina, 919-807-7450.
  • need training or specialized consulting in:  census concepts, the Log Into North Carolina data platform, or an orientation to the services available from the State Data Center, contact your nearest affiliate for more information and instructions.

There are minimal costs for data extracts and copies from the State Data Center network. The 44 agencies of the network have different charging scales for photocopying, computer programming, consulting, and other services. Typically, these charges cover costs of reproducing the data or they are free. Extensive computer programming and mapping services can become expensive. Be sure to clarify the cost prior to finalizing your request for information.

The State Data Center Program is a cooperative venture with the US Bureau of the Census. The State Data Center is the lead agency for the program in North Carolina. The State Library of North Carolina, the Odom Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC, and the Center for Geographic Information and Analysis are other state-level coordinating agencies.

There are 17 regional nodes (one for each of the Lead Regional Organizations), 10 public library nodes, and 8 academic affiliates. The LRO and library affiliates serve particular areas, as shown in the maps, while the academic affiliates tend to specialize by subject area and have statewide, as well as local, information. Five associated agencies also provide data dissemination services for the State Data Center program.

Besides maintaining all the decennial and economic census products, the State Data Center receives many other data products from various federal, state, and private agencies. These include the Bureau of Economic Analysis' income and employment estimates, Current Population Surveys for the state, an indexed set of national and state polls, privately produced data products on subjects such as business, County Business Patterns, geographic data layers, School District Data, and statistical publications of state agencies.

The best source of the data is the Log Into North Carolina (LINC) data platform. Other media include CD-ROM, magnetic tape, diskettes, microfiche, and printed reports. Training on how to use and interpret the products is available from various agencies within the Data Center network.