What is the Understanding America Study?

The Understanding America Study (UAS) is a panel of American households. Recruiting takes place via address based sampling, in which postal records are used. Eligible individuals are all adults aged 18 and older in the contacted household. To learn more about the UAS please just click here.

What types of questions are asked in the UAS?

Surveys are conducted in the UAS on a wide variety of topics. Details about the exact questions asked can be found for each survey on the main Data page. In addition to researchers' questions a set of demographics is also provided.

What kind of data is available?

The UAS offers a variety of data including survey data, timings, platform information, and non response data. To learn more about the different types of data that is available, please just have a look here.

How can I get access to the data?

Data collected in the UAS is, with some exceptions, publicly available. In order gain access to the data, please just register here. We will then contact you to confirm your registration and provide you with account details.

If I use UAS data, how should I cite it?

When citing our data, we recommend the following text: “The project described in this paper relies on data from survey(s) administered by the Understanding America Study, which is maintained by the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) at the University of Southern California. The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of USC or UAS.”

Can I ask my own questions in the UAS?

Of course! We work closely with researchers to develop a survey instrument, assist with obtaining any human subjects approval, and are readily available to help with any issues you may have. To learn more about the services we can provide and the team behind the UAS please just have a look here.

How can I find out how many people are in the UAS?

To find out how many people are currently in the UAS and their demographic make-up please just download the My Household data set (available here). This data set provides the set of demographics described here. The data set contains currently active respondents (meaning that they have done at least one regular UAS survey in addition to the My Household survey in the last year).

What technology is used to conduct surveys?

The Understanding America Study uses the survey software system NubiS for the design, implementation and management of all its surveys. NubiS is a complete data collection tool developed in house at the Center of Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California. NubiS runs on any server, PC, laptop or netbook as well as on tablets or smartphones. More information can be found here.

Do you have any resources about the UAS I can download?

Yes! All publicly available resources concerning the UAS are listed here. If you don't see what you're looking for, inquire at