National Change of Address (NCOA)

United States Postal Service (USPS) Infogroup

Infogroup provides national change of address data as a NCOALink® Full Service Provider Licensee. This individual-level information includes comprehensive residential data like names, home value, years in residence, and location.

Unit of Observation:
Individual
Personally Identifiable Information Available for Linking:
Yes
Geography:
United States of America
Years Available:
2006-Present
Cost:
Paid
Frequency of Updates:
Real time
Universe:

All address changes registered with USPS in the United States

Access

USPS licenses its National Change of Address (NCOA) data to Full Service Provider Licensees who make the database available to others. More information about licensing can be found here. The process for acquiring data may vary by licensee. This entry describes the process for accessing and using data provided through Infogroup, a full service provider licensee of NCOALink, who can provide NCOA data to researchers for purchase. Researchers must contact Infogroup at [email protected] to request data and to negotiate details of the data transfer. A data sharing agreement is required. 

If the request is approved, the researcher must pay the price agreed with Infogroup based on the amount of data they require. Once the fee is paid, Infogroup posts the data to a secure site within 24-48 hours and provides the researcher with a username and password to access the file in their preferred layout. As part of the application process, researchers must follow Infogroup’s terms and conditions to maintain confidentiality.

Timeline for Access

The timeline to gain access after the request is approved will vary between 24-48 hours depending on the chosen data set and the volume of the data request.

Lag Time

Unknown

Cost

Cost depends on the number of records requested as well as the types of variables and level of detail requested. The cost for the entire residential data set from 2006 is $35,000; however, Infogroup provides discounts when considering specific year(s) of data and may accommodate project budgets. Infogroup may have pre-existing relationships with universities that lower the cost.

Linking

Researchers may send a description of the requested sample that refer to geography, age range, income range, home value range, etc (e.g., “All males aged 50-75 living in Middlesex County”). Infogroup will send the file, including identifiers, back to the researchers for matching. 

Identifiers Available for Linking

  • Individual ID
  • Family ID
  • Given Name
  • Middle Name
  • Surname
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Zip code
  • Location IDData set includes the identifiers listed above and others that could prove useful in linking.

Data Contents

Partial List of Variables

Estimated household income, home value, years in residence and location. 

J-PAL Randomized Evaluations Using this Data Set

Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, Lawrence F. Katz, Jeffrey B. Liebman, Jeffrey R. Kling. "Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program: Interim Impacts Evaluation." Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2011.

Last reviewed