Abstract: This paper provides an historical context for access to U.S. Federal
statistical data with a primary focus on the U.S. Census Bureau. We review the
various modes used by the Census Bureau to make data available to users, and
highlight the costs and benefits associated with each. We highlight some of the
specific improvements underway or under consideration at the Census Bureau to
better serve its data users, as well as discuss the broad strategies employed
by statistical agencies to respond to the challenges of data access.
Keywords: Confidentiality, micro-data, microdata, Microdata Analysis System, U.S. Census Bureau, Research Data Centers, VirtualRDC