NORC, 75 Years

For 75 years, NORC at the University of Chicago has advanced knowledge through objective research and analysis.

We create insight that scholars, leaders, and decision makers around the world use to deepen our understanding of a wide range of fields, from public opinion to psychology to health care.

We deliver information that has an impact at both the macro and micro levels, affecting major public-policy decisions as well as the ways we understand ourselves as individuals and communities.

And as an organization that regularly tests many new methodologies and tackles emerging topics, we drive innovation in research tools, methods, and subject matter.

This timeline features select snapshots of some of the important events, studies, and initiatives in NORC’s history—a small but illustrative sample of the thousands of projects and people that make up our past and guide our future.

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Design and Development
Sandbox Studio, Chicago

1940s: (Probing Racial Attitudes) U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, ARC 535523; (Job Prestige) Library of Congress, LC-DIG-fsac-1a34951 / 1950s: (Interviewer Effect) Creative Commons, Rosa y Dani; (Chicago’s Skid Row) Chicago History Museum / 1960s: (New York Blackout) Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-111256 / 1970s: (Class of ’72) Creative Commons, Anthony Catalano; (Lobbyists and Power) Creative Commons, Phil Roeder / 1980s: (Economics Powerhouse) Creative Commons, genericface; (Cross-National Collaboration) Creative Commons, Eferrante / 1990s: (Seeking Citizens’ Voices) Creative Commons, Argash; (Chinese Sexual Behavior) Creative Commons, Ravi Chahal / 2000s: (Sensors and Biomeasures) Creative Commons, Denis Kortunov; (Spending in Spain) Creative Commons, Chensiyuan; (Finding Trafficking Victims) Creative Commons, Tobin / 2010s: (How We Spend) Creative Commons, Brad Montgomery; (Strengthening Journalism) Creative Commons, Jon S.; (Native Housing Needs) Creative Commons, swainboat; (Campus Climate Assessments) Creative Commons, Roman Boed.

Photos not credited are owned by NORC or are in the public domain.

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NORC, 75 Years

The Future of Insight

In every corner of NORC and the research industry, change is afoot. But perhaps more important is what has not changed. At NORC our mission remains clear and consistent—we transform data into knowledge by conducting groundbreaking studies on the critical issues of the day. To succeed, this vision requires a commitment to helping NORC’s staff excel and a focus on the human elements of the subjects we study. It demands that NORC look beyond its traditional portfolio of clients and partners to drive insight and impact in an interconnected world. And it demands an innovative spirit and a deeply held commitment to help chart the horizons of modern research.

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NORC, 75 Years

NORC at the University of Chicago 75 Years

  • 1940–1949
  • 1950–1959
  • 1960–1969
  • 1970–1979
  • 1980–1989
  • 1990–1999
  • 2000–2009
  • 2010–