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The "quality of life" in small cities is difficult to measure because information is scattered and difficult to come by, in contrast to the considerable body of centralized information on large urban centers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has widened the scope of its interest in large cities to embrace smaller communities, and is seeking to gauge the conditions of life there as well. To enlarge the body of information it can draw on, HUD contracted with RAND to locate and catalog sources of data pertaining to the quality of life in individual small cities. The body of this report is an annotated listing of 272 data sources that were accordingly compiled. Each data source includes information on its suitability for a specific application: a brief description of content, geographic coverage, frequency of collection, years covered by the data, availability of the data in hardcopy form or as a machine-readable file, and an agency contact point where the user can obtain more information.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.