There are five ways to select variables to add to your "shopping cart" within the Data Center: File, Search, Cross-Year Index, Previous Cart, and Variable List. You can use any of the five methods, and you can switch methods while you "shop." To view the variables you have selected, simply click on the shopping cart on the right.

Among the variables in the Data Center, all of them can be found via the Search option, over 99% can be found in the File option, and over 92% can be viewed in the Cross-Year Index option. (Eventually, every Data Center variable will be available through all three options.) Therefore, if you do not find the variables you are looking for through the File or Cross-Year Index option, try the Search option.
File - Scroll through lists of variables contained within specific data files for each interview year.

Cross-year index - Browse the data archive where variables are organized by topical categories and you can choose comparable variables across the years.

Search - Search on variable name, label, question text, and explanation text of all variables.

Previous carts - Retrieve data carts created by you or others.

Variable List - Enter variable list to be added to your cart.