About the Urban Institute
Urban's mission is to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

We believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Public policies work best when they are rooted in facts, and our research sparks solutions in programs and practice. Our analyses and recommendations help expand opportunities for all people, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health of governments and effectiveness of public policies.


How We Work

We conduct sophisticated research to understand and solve real-world challenges in a rapidly urbanizing environment. Our work engages communities at multiple levels—city, state, and country—as we gather data and evaluate programs. Urban Institute scholars blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, teaming with policymakers, community leaders, practitioners, and the private sector to diagnose problems and find solutions.

Founded in 1968 to understand the problems facing America’s cities and assess the programs of the War on Poverty, the Urban Institute brings decades of objective analysis and expertise to policy debates—in city halls and state houses, Congress and the White House, and emerging democracies around the world. Today, our research portfolio ranges from the social safety net to health and tax policies; the well-being of families and neighborhoods; and trends in work, earnings, and wealth building. Our scholars have a distinguished track record of turning evidence into solutions.

As an organization, the Urban Institute does not take positions on issues. Scholars are independent and empowered to share their evidence-based views and recommendations shaped by research.
Our work environment encourages intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect. Our analysis elevates debate, wherever it takes place.

Learn more about who we are and what we do.