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

The nonprofit Urban Institute is one of the country’s leading research institutions, known for broad economic and social policy expertise and five decades of scholarship.

But we don’t just build knowledge. We translate research, share policy-related insights, and apply them in neighborhoods, state capitals, and the halls of Congress. We partner with people who believe in the power of evidence to change lives and strengthen communities. 

Urban’s experts work with philanthropists, foundations, community leaders, service providers, governments, and decisionmakers at every level to

  • Discover and evaluate. Using the most rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, we gather data and work with communities to understand whether programs are effective and people are making progress. Using microsimulation technology, we answer the “what if?” questions and forecast the outcomes of potential changes to federal programs, such as Medicaid, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act, and the tax code.
  • Assist and advise. We help leaders at all levels who are solving problems and putting policy into practice. We partner with people seeking to drive social change, including advising philanthropies on how to target investments for maximum impact. With nonprofits and local organizations, we help refine their strategies and measure how their efforts are working.
  • Solve and share. Our research sparks solutions. Our experience teaches us what works and what does not. Change-makers turn to us for answers about current affairs and for new, still-untested ideas. We convene the best of diverse perspectives, learning and sharing as we go and incorporating science and evidence into decisionmaking.

In a time of fierce polarization and potential transformational policy changes, facts are urgently needed. So are solutions that transcend convention and ideology. Our expertise is both deep and broad, and our insights are evidence-based and rooted in the real world.