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Restricted Data Access: Geocodes

ANES RDA geocode files contain more geographical detail than is available in public release study data. Restricted geocodes are most often used by researchers to merge contextual data with ANES study releases.

Time Series RDA Geocode files

Any 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 RDA geocode data files for the 1948-1976 Time Series studies.

Available for RDA request are “standard” RDA geocode files prepared for each Time Series study since 1978. RDA zip code files are also available for Time Series studies 1994 and later (currently zip codes for 2012 are restricted to face-to-face cases).

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. Presence of data within variables of each Time Series study “standard” RDA geocode file is documented in a table.

Aside from zip codes, which have never been publicly available, restriction of Time Series geocodes began in 1978 when it was first considered necessary to restrict Census Tract and Enumeration District (ED) in order to protect respondent confidentiality. In 1982, Minor Civil Division (MCD) and Census Place were added to ANES geocode restrictions. In 2000, identification of FIPS county and PSU (Primary Sampling Unit or primary area) were also added (note: in most-recent Time Series studies, a recoded version of PSU has been publicly released in which each PSU code has been systematically replaced with a randomly assigned substitute value).

For a geocode first restricted from the Time Series after 1978, RDA “standard”geocode files also include any 1978 or later public release data which preceded the year of initial restriction. For example, FIPS county data are present for 1978-1998, as well as for 2000 and later, even though the data are unrestricted in the public releases for the earlier set of Time Series studies.

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.

Non-Time Series RDA geocode files

Non-zipcode RDA geocode files have also been prepared for some non-Time Series studies. These files which include geocodes restricted from the public release do not observe a common format or include a standard set of variables:

  • ANES 2010-2012 EGSS – FIPS county,Census Tract
  • ANES 2008-2009 – FIPS county,Census Tract
  • ANES 2006 Pilot – FIPS county, Census Tract, Census Place, MCD, MSA, CSA, CBSA
  • ANES 2004 Panel – Panel – PSU, FIPS County, Census Tract, Census Place, MCD, MSA, CSA, CBSA
  • ANES 1998 Pilot – FIPS county

Zip code files are also available for the following non-Time Series studies:ANES 2010-2012 EGSS

  • ANES 2008-2009 Panel
  • ANES 2006 Pilot
  • ANES 2004 Panel
  • ANES 1998 Pilot

If restricted geocode or zip code data are found and prepared for additional non-Time Series ANES studies in fulfillment of forthcoming RDA requests, those files will be added to the set of ANES pre-prepared RDA geocode and zip code files. Users must inquire if specific geocodes are available as restricted data for any non-Time Series studies other than those listed above (fulfillment of requests for these would be subject to the limitations described for RDA data files which are not already pre-prepared). It is already determined that study-specific restricted geocode or zip code data do NOT exist for any ANES studies conducted prior to 1978 nor for the the following ANES non-Time Series studies and derivative files:


  • ANES 2013 Internet Recontact Study *
  • ANES 2012 Direct Democracy Study *
  • ANES 2010 Panel Recontact Study *
  • ANES 2000-2004 Merged File **
  • ANES 2000 Pilot Study *
  • ANES 1997 Pilot Study *
  • ANES 1995 Pilot Study *
  • ANES 1992-1997 Merged File **
  • ANES 1993 Pilot Study *

* RDA geocode data from previous ANES study participation of the empaneled respondents are available as follows:

  • 2013 Internet Recontact Study: RDA data from the 2012 Time Series Study
  • 2012 Direct Democracy Study: RDA data from the 2012 Time Series Study
  • 2010 Panel Recontact Study: RDA data from the 2008-2009 Panel Study
  • 2000 Pilot Study: RDA data from the 1998 Time Series Study
  • 1997 Pilot Study: RDA data from the 1996 Time Series Study
  • 1995 Pilot Study: RDA data from the 1994 Time Series Study
  • 1993 Pilot Study: RDA data from the 1992 Time Series Study

** RDA data from component studies of derivative (Merged) files are available as follows:

  • 2000-2004 Merged File: RDA data from the 2000 Time Series Study, 2002 Time Series Study, 2004 Panel Study
  • 1992-1997 Merged File: RDA data from component Time Series (not Pilot) studies: 1992, 1994, 1996