Format

The data on this site are typically CSV (comma-separated values) files. They are readable using data import functions of most statistical software packages.

Compression

To save space, the files are compressed individually. A file with a ".gz" extension is compressed using gzip. Files with a ".bz2" are compressed using bzip2. Decompression on Windows can be done using Winzip ($), 7-zip (free), or other equivalent programs. On Mac OS X, decompression software includes Keka (free), Stuffit, or the native OS X ability to work with such files. On Unix and Linux, most systems have gzip and/or bzip2 installed.
For SAS on Unix/Linux, separate decompression is not necessary, as files can be decompressed on the fly. Template programs are provided for QWI public use data in the same directory as the data programs. This is also possible (somewhat less straightforwardly) in Stata.

Data content

To understand the data elements, use the relevant documentation with each dataset. For QWI, the most concise document is the "QWI cheatsheet." Consult the columns_definitions.txt for the names of the columns of the CSV files. csv_description.txt breaks it out by data file. The most recent version of these files is always distributed together with the data files, in the version and state-specific directories.