Finding Statistics Sources

About this Guide

This guide suggests resources for finding statistical information about a variety of topics, including population, employment, education, economics, and crime, including databases of statistical sources and sources of datasets.

How Statistics can be Misleading

Keep in mind that statistical information can be analyzed in different ways and can be manipulated to make different points. This video provides a few examples:

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Helpful Search Terms

Search the library catalog (books+) or other databases for your topic.
Here are some ideas of general terms to use in a search for statistics:

Commercial statistics
Criminal statistics
Labor statistics
Medical statistics
Social problems statistics
Violence statistics
Economic conditions statistics
Population statistics
Data

SBCC Library Statistical Databases

  • RAND California Statistics: This website contains nearly 80 databases in business and economics, community, education, energy and environment, government finance, health and socioeconomic, and population and demographics. Much of the data is available at state, county, and city levels. Data are updated on a regular basis. More local statistics may be found, even if they are not published, by contacting local government.

Government Statistics by Topic

  • American FactFinder: Published by the U.S. Census Bureau, this site helps you find current population, housing, economic, and geographic data in the United States. The website is comprehensive and easy to use. Data topics and geographic area coverage available:
    • Decennial Census of Housing and Population provides information on population, race, ancestry, income, disability, education, employment, language, marital status, occupation, poverty status, housing characteristics.
    • Economic Census covers topics such as industry, establishments, sales, receipts, revenues, shipments, expenses, products, payroll, employees.
    • American Community Survey includes areas such as population, race, ancestry, income, disability, education, employment, language, marital status, occupation, poverty, housing characteristics.
    • Population Estimates Program estimates total population for selected geographic areas; estimates by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.

    Results from each of these data programs are provided in the form of data sets, tables, thematic maps, and reference maps.

  • USA.gov: The U.S. government’s official web portal. Includes statistics and other information from all areas of government.
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis: Information about consumer spending, corporate profits, GDP, income, industry accounts, investing, and trade.
  • National Center for Education Statistics: The primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.

International Statistics

  • CIA World Factbook: Country information, including population and economic statistics.
  • Statistical Sites on the World Wide Web: Links to statistical sites from around the world, as well as US federal agencies.
  • United Nations Statistics Division: Statistical information on topics such as economics, demographics, environment, and energy.
  • World Bank Data: Statistical information by country on a broad range of topics, including agriculture, climate change, economics, education, energy, gender, health, labor, poverty, science and technology, social development, and urban development.
  • Nation Master: A large central data source and good way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is compiles data from sources like the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD.
  • Population Bulletin: Includes current domestic and international population issues and trends. Written for a general audience by noted experts, presenting population topics in clear and objective text with colorful graphics.

Other Sources of Statistics

  • Data and Statistics: Assembled by UCSD Library. A great set of links to data sources listed by topic, including art and culture, beverages and food, California, crime, demographics and population, aging, children and families, migration and immigration, race and ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality, economic and financial data, global economic data, education, environment, government spending, infrastructure, governance, health and health care, mortality, housing, industry, labor, employment, wages, political science, elections, public opinion, social attitudes and values, and sports.
  • Global Stat: Offers data on a wide range of topics and from a broad range of international statistical resources, with “information on globalisation, sustainability and human development. Focusing on the economic, environmental, political, social, societal and cultural performance of nations.”

Statistical Tools online

  • Statistics Decision Tree: From Van Eck Computer Consulting, at the University of Michigan, the Decision Tree “helps select statistics or statistical techniques appropriate for the purpose and conditions of a particular analysis and to select the MicrOsiris commands which produce them or find the corresponding SPSS and SAS commands.”

Datasets

  • American Factfinder: Published by the U.S. Census Bureau, this site helps you find current population, housing, economic, and geographic data in the United States. The website is comprehensive and easy to use. Results from data programs are provided in the form of data sets, tables, thematic maps, and reference maps.
  • Data Surfing on the World Wide Web: A list of individual and repositories of datasets.
  • Housing and Urban Development Datasets: “HUD USER provides interested researchers with access to the original electronic data sets generated by PD&R sponsored data collection efforts, including the American Housing Survey, HUD median family income limits, as well as microdata from research initiatives on topics such as housing discrimination, the HUD-insured multifamily housing stock, and the public housing population.”

Citation Guidelines

Below are some resources for creating citations for sources found on the internet and through library databases.
More resources are available on the Citation Guides page.

MLA Citation Style from Purdue Owl

MLA Citation Style from Camosun College

APA Citation Style from Purdue Owl

APA Citation Style from Camosun College