Download Datasets

The DHS Program is authorized to distribute, at no cost, unrestricted survey data files for legitimate academic research. Registration is required for access to data.

Guide to Using Datasets
Access Instructions

Request Dataset Access

The following applies to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, GPS, and HIV).

To request dataset access, you must first be a registered user of the website. You must then create a new research project request. The request must include a project title and a description of the analysis you propose to perform with the data.

The requested data should only be used for the purpose of the research or study. To request the same or different data for another purpose, a new research project request should be submitted. The DHS Program will normally review all data requests within 24 hours (Monday - Friday) and provide notification if access has been granted or additional project information is needed before access can be granted.

See Step-by-Step Instructions

Dataset Access Approval Process

Access to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, HIV, and GPS) is requested and granted by country. This means that when approved, full access is granted to all unrestricted survey datasets for that country. Access to HIV and GIS datasets requires an online acknowledgment of the conditions of use.

Required Information
A dataset request must include contact information, a research project title, and a description of the analysis you propose to perform with the data.

Restricted Datasets
A few datasets are restricted and these are noted. Access to restricted datasets is requested online as with other datasets. An additional consent form is required for some datasets, and the form will be emailed to you upon authorization of your account. For other restricted surveys, permission must be granted by the appropriate implementing organizations, before The DHS Program can grant access. You will be emailed the information for contacting the implementing organizations. A few restricted surveys are authorized directly within The DHS Program, upon receipt of an email request.

When The DHS Program receives authorization from the appropriate organizations, the user will be contacted, and the datasets made available by secure FTP.

GPS/HIV Datasets/Other Biomarkers
Because of the sensitive nature of GPS, HIV and other biomarkers datasets, permission to access these datasets requires that you accept a Terms of Use Statement. After selecting GPS/HIV/Other Biomarkers datasets, the user is presented with a consent form which should be signed electronically by entering the password for the user's account.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Requesting Online Dataset Access

You must be a registered user to access and download datasets.

STEP 1A - If you are a new user, register for dataset access

  • Enter User Information
  • Enter a description of the proposed study
  • Select first the region of interest and then select countries (you may select from multiple regions)

STEP 1B – If you are an existing user, log in to access datasets

  • Update account information
  • Select type of datasets (Survey, GPS, and HIV)
  • Select countries

STEP 2 – Submit request

STEP 3 - You will be notified by email when access has been granted

Dataset Terms of Use

Once downloaded, the datasets must not be passed on to other researchers without the written consent of The DHS Program. All reports and publications based on the requested data must be sent to The DHS Program Data Archive in a Portable Document Format (pdf) or a printed hard copy.

Download Datasets

Datasets are made available for download by survey. You will be presented with a list of surveys for which you have been granted dataset access. After selecting a survey, a list of all available datasets for that survey will be displayed, including all survey, GPS, and HIV data files. However, only data types for which you have been granted access will be accessible. To download, simply click on the files that you wish to download and a "File Download" prompt will guide you through the remaining steps.

See Step-by-Step Instructions

Compressed ZIP Files

All datasets are distributed as compressed zip files.

The files can be extracted from the zip file using Windows File Explorer on later versions of the operating system, or using file compression software such as WinZip, 7-Zip or PKUNZIP. A free evaluation version of WinZip can be downloaded by going to and clicking on Download Evaluation Version.  After extraction, you will be presented with several files depending on the data type and file format downloaded.

See more information on the distribution ZIP files and the working files they contain.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Downloading Datasets

STEP 1 - Log In

  • Click Download Datasets in the Data section of the website.
  • If not logged-in, a log-in prompt will be displayed.
  • A list of surveys with datasets that you are authorized to access will be displayed.
  • Alternatively, you may first Log In to access your account, and then go to the available datasets.

STEP 2 - Select a survey

  • Select a survey for which you wish to download datasets
  • You will be presented with a list of datasets for that survey. Only dataset types that you are authorized to download will be selectable.

STEP 3 - Select a dataset Zip file for download

  • Your browser will display a "File Download" prompt asking you to determine where you want to save the file.

STEP 4 - Unzip the dataset.

  • Each zip file contains multiple working files including supporting documentation explaining the data variables. Please refer to this documentation for explanations of inconsistencies and other notes related to the data.