ARC is one of five academic research centers located at NORC, a national organization for research at the University of Chicago.

NORC's mission is to conduct high quality social science research in the public interest. It works towards this goal through the design and implementation of complex surveys and other data collection strategies, as well as through the objective, sophisticated interpretation of social science data using advanced statistical and other analytic techniques.

NORC's research centers provide an interdisciplinary environment in which University of Chicago faculty and their students conduct social science research, supported by the methodological and analytic expertise, training, and computing and other administrative services NORC offers. ARC staff benefit greatly from their co-location with the four other nationally recognized centers studying families, health, schooling, and employment (The Population Research Center), the demography and economics of aging, health policy, and biodemography (The Center on Demography and Economics of Aging), societal change in comparative perspective (The Center for the Study of Politics and Society), and the social organizations and the sociology of education (The Ogburn-Stouffer Center for the Study of Social Organizations).