The voices of Urban Institute's researchers and staff

It’s still too hard for most Americans to get a mortgage

Obtaining a mortgage is getting easier, but lenders are still too cautious, depressing housing demand and holding back a broader economic recovery.

Federal budget and data woes

Everybody lately loves anything having to do with data, but Congress has actually been reducing funding for our statistical agencies.

Beyond prison walls: The realities of returning home

Jocelyn Fontaine, one of the lead evaluators Safer Return, answers pressing questions about how to better support returning prisoners.

National estimates on police transparency and information sharing with the public

The White House has strongly promoted the idea of increased police transparency after high-profile incidents of civil unrest throughout 2014 and into 2015. Most law enforcement agencies still have a long way to go.

Why do rates of sexual assault prevalence vary from report to report?

Data on rape and sexual assault suffer from inconsistent estimates and underreporting, leading to misunderstandings about the extent of the problem and adequate policy solutions.

Neighborhoods at the top are even more likely to stay there than those at the bottom

America’s most affluent neighborhoods are worlds apart from its most disadvantaged ones, and the gap has grown in the past two decades.

Federal prison reform: Who is too old for incarceration?

People age 50 and older are the fastest growing segment of the federal prison population. But incarcerating an aging person costs roughly double what it takes to incarcerate a younger one.

What we know about jail suicides

When it comes to keeping inmates safe from self-inflicted harm, research points to several important takeaways.

Need a nest egg to pay for your nest? Many retirees do

Older adults spend much more on housing than health care or anything else.

The future of social science research: A data science perspective

By breaking out of the inertia of tradition, we can deepen our understanding of society and governance and leverage data to directly improve lives.

From Protest to Policy


From Protest to Policy

Our researchers offer evidence-based solutions to some of the problems faced by poor, mostly minority communities in Baltimore and other US cities.


Urban Wire Writers