This article provides an overview of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) as a data source. MICS—one of the largest household survey programs focused on children and women—has covered 116 countries, many over several rounds of surveys producing trend data. Data are collected on a range of indicators for children, adolescents, women, and in recent years, men. Topics include fertility, mortality, contraceptive use, unmet need, maternal and newborn health, female genital mutilation, menstrual hygiene management, child illness and treatment, and child development and nutrition, among others. The surveys are cross‐sectional and use multistage probability designs to develop representative samples of households at the national and subnational levels. Survey interviews are conducted with: a household respondent who provides data on the household status; women and men aged 15–49 who provide current status and retrospective data on themselves; and mothers (or caregivers) who provide data on children under age 18. Data can be compared across countries and time for the most part, provide a wealth of indicators across research fields, and are open access. Data can be accessed on the MICS website where users are granted access to the MICS datasets for research purposes.
Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.