Answered By: Reference Librarian Last Updated: Jun 07, 2017 Views: 3
If you know where to look, there is no shortage of available statistics to support your research. One of the best sources of freely available statistics is government data. For example, if you were looking for crime statistics, you could use the FBI’s UCR Data Tool, or if you were focusing on crime statistics in Illinois, you might consult Illinois State Police Annual Uniform Crime Report. It helps to think creatively about different types of organizations and agencies that might provide access to existing stats. Remember that statistical data is created at the local, state, national and international levels. Data is often provided by foreign governments, non-profits, corporations, international organizations, etc. Scholarly articles will sometimes contain statistical information, as well.
Here are a few essential resources to consult:
- Community & Local Research – This research guide developed by MCC librarians lists many reliable sources of statistical info at the local, state, and national levels.
- The Statistical Abstract of the US (1878-2012) (US Government) – Covers social, political, and economic statistics.
- The library has print copies of post-2012 editions of the Statistical Abstract of the US (ProQuest) located in the reference section.
- American FactFinder – Access US Census Data in an easy to use platform.
- UNdata.org – Provides a wide variety of statistics (by country), offered by the United Nations Statistics Division.
- World Bank Open Data –This resource provides access to environmental, social, political, and economic statistics at an international level. If you are having issues using the search bar, try browsing these featured indicators.
With so many options available, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. When in doubt, ask a librarian for help!