Researcher at a Computer in Bethesda A project team meeting
Pregnant Woman Washington Monument in spring
Active older Americans How people use prescription medicine determinesif it is a source of the healing or a source of abuse

Human Development

What kind of environment nurtures human potential and well being? NORC’s cross-disciplinary approach has helped numerous organizations and government uncover data and insights about topics ranging from healthcare and education, to family finances, substance use, sexuality and even happiness. Our advanced capabilities, and extensive experience in areas like child development and healthcare support effective decision making for human development programs and policies.

Special areas of expertise include:


Representative Projects

Descriptive Study of the Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare Services. ​In 2011, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) awarded grants to 14 tribes and tribal organizations to coordinate tribal TANF and child welfare services to address family risk factors for child abuse and neglect. The grantees agreed to participate in a study as a condition of the grant award. The Study of Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare Services is sponsored by ACF's Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. James Bell Associates is the lead entity on the project; NORC at the University of Chicago and the Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado at Denver are project partners.  The goal of this three year study is to document the ways in which the tribal grantees are creating and adapting culturally relevant and appropriate approaches, systems, and programs to increase coordination and enhance service delivery to address child abuse and neglect. More

General Social Survey (GSS). Since 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has been monitoring societal change and studying the growing complexity of American society. The GSS is NORC’s longest running project, and one of its most influential. More

Making Connections. The Making Connections survey, launched in ten poor urban communities, examines mobility, social capital, neighborhoods, resident participation, economic hardship, the availability and utilization of services, and child and adolescent well-being. More

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), sponsored and funded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor, is the youth-focused component of the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) Program – a set of surveys used to gather information on the labor market experiences of American men and women.  More

National Survey of Early Care and Education. The NSECE will gather information from multiple sources to provide rich data on the types of providers of early care and education, as well as the needs, constraints and preferences of families with children age 13 and under as they seek and use non-parental care for their children. More

See all Human Development projects


News Peace Talks Radio: NORC's Louise Hawkely talks about loneliness and how it's researched More
Posted: 6.4.2015 4:46PM
News The New York Times: Looking at how, and why, people cheat on their significant others, with data and research from the GSS More
Posted: 5.29.2015 4:37PM
News Slate: Calculating the frequency and regularity of your sex life, using General Social Survey data. More
Posted: 5.29.2015 4:35PM
News The Washington Post: Recent GSS findings suggest the racial views of Millennials More
Posted: 5.13.2015 2:00PM
News CBS News: Researching GSS data on American views of sex and sexuality over the decades More
Posted: 5.13.2015 1:44PM


Tom W. Smith

(773) 256-6288

Michael Davern

(312) 357-3770

Edward O. Laumann

(773) 702-8691

Linda Waite

(773) 256-6333

Jeffrey Hackett

(312) 759-4266