Database Spotlight: Social Explorer

Want to incorporate census data into your class projects? Curious about how demographic trends have changed over time? Want to add maps and tables to your presentations? Social Explorer might make your research whole a lot easier!

What is in this database?

Social Explorer provides hundreds of thousands of data indicators across demography, economy, health, education, religion, crime and more. Examine this wealth of information at many geographic levels: national, state, county, ZIP, neighborhood and more. All data are curated, organized and processed for ease of use. (From Social Explorer Data )

Who might benefit from using this database?

Students, faculty, and researchers who are interested in exploring demographic data from multiple sources, including data from the current and historical Decennial Census (1790 to present).

Notable Features:

Social Explorer allows users to build and compare data reports, and create thematic maps using over half a million data variables. When exploring maps, users can generate side-by-side comparisons, and export visuals for their presentations and papers.

Important Data Sets include:

  • U.S. Decennial Census
  • American Community Surveys (ACS)
  • U.S. Crime Data (FBI & UCR)
  • European Statistics Data (Eurostat)
  • World Development Indicators (World Bank)
  • And more!


  • Social Explorer does not include American Community Surveys data from before 2005.
  • Users are not able to compare data over multiple years in the report builder.
  • Users can only compare two data sets at a time using the mapping tool.
  • Social Explorer will eventually allow users to record mapping sessions with “Story Telling,’ but this feature is currently unavailable.

How can you access it?

Social explorer is located within the Article Databases list from the UW Tacoma Library webpage, or can be accessed directly HERE!

Photo of the UW Tacoma Library website, with arrow pointing to article databases link.


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