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Restricted-Use Data Access

ANES items identified as Restricted-Use Data are not publicly released but can be requested for the purpose of scientific and public policy research. ANES Restricted-Use Data are not available directly from ANES.  The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) handles applications for ANES Restricted-Use Data and provides access to the data through their Virtual Data Enclave (VDE), a secure, virtual environment that is accessible from your own desktop computer.

Application Process in Brief

  1. Choose one of the ICPSR links below to start an application.
  2. Locate and click on the “Access Restricted Data” tab to begin.
  3. Enter your contact information, project title, description and an abstract of 250 words or less in length.
  4. Select the data files and analysis software you require. Please note: You can select multiple ANES restricted-use files in one application.
  5. Click “create project.”
  6. Check your email for the confirmation notice which will include a link to the ICPSR VDE Data Use Agreement.
  7. Follow the application instructions in the confirmation notice and email your IRB documentation and completed Data Use Agreement to [email protected].
  8. Once your request is approved, ICPSR staff will be in contact with you to set up your VDE license and account, as well as a quick training of how to use the VDE.

Available Files


Respondent Birthdates, 1996-2020 Time Series

Birthdate files contain the exact birthdates of respondents and are not available in the public release files. The exact day of birth was not archived for Time Series studies prior to 1996.]

Geocodes (including zip code)

2020 Time Series Geocodes
2016 Time Series Geocodes
2012 Time Series Geocodes
2010-2012 Evaluations of Government and Society Study EGSS) Geocodes
2008-2009 Panel Geocodes
2008 Time Series Geocodes
2006 Pilot Geocodes
2004 Panel Geocodes
2004 Time Series Geocodes
2002 Time Series Geocodes
2000 Time Series Geocodes
1998 Pilot Geocodes
1998 Time Series Geocodes
1996 Time Series Geocodes
1994 Time Series Geocodes
1992 Time Series Geocodes
1990 Time Series Geocodes
1988 Time Series Geocodes
1986 Time Series Geocodes
1984 Time Series Geocodes
1982 Time Series Geocodes
1980 Time Series Geocodes
1978 Time Series Geocodes

Geocode data for ANES Time Series studies conducted prior to 1978 are already available (unrestricted) in the public release of the studies; there are no restricted-use geocode data files for the 1948-1976 Time Series studies. The same variables are present in each “standard” RDA geocode file for ANES Time Series studies 1978 and later. In any one of these files, however, there may be no data in some of the variables; for example, the variable for Minor Civil Division has no data in the 1980 and 2012 “standard” RDA geocode files because MCD codes were not available during those years. See which variables are available for each Time Series study.

It should be noted that the ANES Time Series Cumulative Data File, which combines data from different Time Series studies for many questions that have been asked in multiple Time Series years, does not have a prepared “standard” RDA geocode file or RDA zip code file covering all years of the Time Series. A “standard” RDA geocode file or zip code file must be requested for individual Time Series study years.


Respondent income, 2020 Time Series
Respondent income, 2016 Time Series

Full Census Occupation and Prestige Scores

1986-2004 Full Census Occupation and Prestige Scores

There are no RDA data files of Census Occupation codes or prestige scores for any Time Series studies 1984 or earlier, or for Time Series studies after 2004. Prior to 1986, all occupation codes were made available in the Time Series public releases. Prior to 1976, these included data coded from master code sets other than U.S. Census Occupation Codes (e.g. Political Behavior Occupation Codes, which were not identical but corresponded closely to Census Occupation codes). In 1976, ANES began utilizing U.S. Census Occupation Codes to code open-end texts of respondent descriptions of occupation, and the full 3-digit Census codes were made available unrestricted in Time Series public releases 1976-1984.

Beginning in 1986, in the interest of protecting respondent anonymity, ANES began collapsing the full 3-digit Census Occupation Codes to a standard 71-category (2-digit) version for Time Series public releases. This practice continued until use of master Census Occupation codes from the 1980 and 1990 Censuses was replaced by use of master codes from the 2000 Census. The complete Census Bureau overhaul of Census Occupation Codes for the 2000 Census produced a new master code set without relation to the set used in the preceding two Censuses. For the 2004 Time Series public release, no version of the occupation codes from the 2000 Census, including any collapsed version, could be included in the public release, however variables were added to the release which provided the usual 71-category collapse of full occupation coding based on categories from the 1990 Census. Full 1990 Census occupation codes are available as RDA data for the 2004 Time Series study, as well as full 2000 Census occupation codes.

Open-Ended Responses

Open-Ended Responses files contain respondents’ exact responses to open-ended questions that have appeared in ANES surveys. Previously these files were only available through a restricted data application process.

Since then, responses within select Open-Ended Responses files have been redacted to remove identifying information and are now publicly available. The redacted files can be downloaded from the ANES website at the indicated locations. No restricted data application is necessary for the following files.

  • The ANES 2020 Time Series study page includes redacted files for Timing of Vote Decision, Likes-Dislikes, Office Recognition, and Most Important Problem.
  • The ANES 2016 Time Series study page includes redacted files for Likes-Dislikes, Industry/Occupation, Social Class, Party Contact, Office Recall, Most Important Problem, and Closest Party.
  • The ANES 2012 Time Series study page includes redacted files for TIming of Vote Decision, Likes-Dislikes, Social Class, Home Ownership, Party Contact, Industry/Occupation, Home Ownership, Office Recall, Most Important Problem, and more.
  • The ANES 2008 Time Series study page includes redacted files for Likes-Dislikes, Industry/Occupation, Vote Decision, Office Recall, Why Candidate Nominated/Won/Loss, Most Important Problem, and Reason for 9/11 Attack.
  • Likes-Dislikes for the ANES 1984-2004 Time Series studies have been redacted and are all stored in a single file that can be downloaded, for example, from the ANES 2004 Time Series study page.
  • Most Important Problem for the ANES 1984-2000 Time Series studies have been redacted and are all stored in a single file that can be downloaded, for example, from the ANES 2000 Time Series study page.

Additional Open-Ended Responses files are not yet available, in redacted or unredacted form. Requests to make additional Open-Ended Responses files available can be submitted by email to [email protected]. Our ability to fulfill these requests depends upon data availability, difficulty (some older open-ends are not yet transcribed, for instance), and prioritization among other project activities.

Race, Nationality, Immigration, and Heritage

Race, Nationality, Immigration, and Heritage, 2020 Time Series

Social Media Study Restricted-Use Facebook Supplemental Data

ANES Social Media Study Restricted-Use Facebook Supplemental Data, 2020-2022

The ANES 2020-2022 Social Media Study was a two-wave survey before and after the 2020 presidential election and a third survey following the 2022 midterm elections in the United States. Data from these surveys are available as a public use file from the American National Election Studies (ANES) website. ANES obtained informed consent from survey participants to collect some of their Facebook information and share it with other researchers. Out of 5897 survey respondents in the public use file, 4394 were self-reported Facebook users who were asked to consent to share Facebook information, and of these 4394, ANES obtained consent from 2739. Among these respondents, 1846 respondents were successfully linked to Facebook accounts that are included in Social Media Study Restricted-Use Facebook Supplemental Data. The supplemental dataset includes information on topics such as daily Facebook time spent, URL interactions, URL shares, political ad interactions, and posts with candidate mentions.


Additional details about the application process, as well as Frequently Asked Questions, can be accessed on the ICPSR website at:

You can also contact ICPSR with questions by emailing [email protected] or telephoning +1-734-647-2200.

ANES Sample Identifiers Collaborative Research Policy

ANES sample identifiers (such as the names and addresses of ANES participants) are strictly confidential and not available through ICPSR. ANES cannot share this information with independent third parties. ANES may share sample identifiers with qualified collaborating researchers who are conducting work that supports the ANES mission. Scholars who are interested in potentially collaborating with ANES by working with sample identifiers to produce data or research that can be expected to benefit the ANES user community (such as by producing a dataset that can be used by many other scholars or by improving the methods for future ANES data collections) should write to us ([email protected]) for more information. Please briefly describe the kind of study you have in mind.