NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago—a founding member of the ISSP—conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with academic, government, nonprofit, and corporate clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.

NORC conducts research in five main areas: Economics, Markets, and the Workforce; Education, Training, and Learning; Global Development; Health and Well-Being; and Society, Media, and Public Affairs. Through these areas, NORC conducts:

The General Social Survey, one of NORC’s longest-running and most influential surveys, and one of the most cited sources of data on the American public. It is also the vehicle for International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) data gathering in the United States.

Other select examples include:

  • The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a longitudinal, population-based study of the interaction between social factors and health outcomes of older Americans.
  • The National Survey of Early Care and Education, the first and only national survey of the supply and demand for childcare in the United States.
  • The National Immunization Survey, one of the largest telephone surveys in the United States  and the gold standard for public health surveillance on immunization rates.
  • Several evaluations supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons Activity.
  • The Survey of Consumer Finances, the only fully representative source of information on the broad financial circumstances of U.S. households.

NORC is also home to several centers that conduct scholarly research in a variety of subjects, including:

  • The Ogburn-Stouffer Center, which promotes innovative, theoretically informed, empirical research on population, political attitudes and decision making, community, health, social inequality, and social structure.
  • The Center for Advancing Research and Communication in STEM is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support education research focused on core scientific questions about learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 
  • The Population Research Center, an interdisciplinary research institution designed to facilitate high-quality demographic analysis on social and economic change within its signature theme of human and social capital in the urban context.

NORC has sponsored a portfolio of innovations and initiatives that respond to emerging research needs. Those initiatives include:

  • The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which combines the rigor of NORC research with the global journalistic reach of the AP to produce trustworthy, actionable research on the issues of the day, including government and international affairs.
  • AmeriSpeak, the most scientifically rigorous, nationally representative panel solution available in the United States.
  • The NORC Data Enclave, a secure, high-performance computing environment that provides authorized users remote access to confidential microdata and cutting-edge analytic and visualization tools.
  • The National Opioid Misuse Assessment Tool, the United States’ first-ever interactive data visualization of county-level drug overdose mortality rates that includes overlays for other sociodemographic and economic variables.