Finding Statistics

About this Federal Depository libraryJump to: Search Techniques / Federal Statistics Sites / Non-Federal Sites for Federal Data

Search Techniques: Easy Ways to Search for Statistical Data

Agencies that collect and publish statistics

Only a core group of organizations (most frequently government agencies, particularly federal agencies) collect, analyze, and publish extensive statistical data on a regular basis. Once you know the organization that collects the type of data in which you are interested, search their web site or catalogs of their print publications. Tip: Think about who would have cared about statistics on the subject and how, as well as from whom, the data could have been collected; this often gives clues of where to look for statistics, whether from a government agency, a trade association, or some other source.

United States Agencies

State and local government

International/Foreign Countries

Internet search engines especially for government information

  • FedStats gateway to statistics from over 100 United States federal agencies.
  • Google's U.S. Government Search. Tip: If you are unsuccessful at this point in your search and you suspect that the statistics you need may be from a trade association or other non-government source, try Google, to search all internet domains rather than just .gov sites.
  • Site indexes and/or site search engines are available at many government agency websites.

Online guides. Examples include:

Compilations of statistics

Specialized print indexes

  • American Statistics Index and Statistical Reference Index are major indexes that enable you to identify sources for statistics published in the United States. The Oviatt Library owns these indexes in paper copy, shelved on the Business Index Table in the Reference Room. The online equivalent, the Statistical Universe database, is available at some libraries.

Library Catalogs

Library Catalogs often allow searching by subject, author, title and keyword to identify what is available at a specific library. Library catalogs include print materials such as books and other formats, including online sources. Try using the Oviatt Library's Library Catalog or Other Library Catalogs.

Federal Statistics Sites

Basic Federal Sites

Gateway to statistics from over 100 federal agencies. 
Census Bureau

Other Federal Agency Statistical Sites

Many other federal agencies compile statistics or make them available to the public. Some of these are listed below.

Bureau of Economic Analysis
Economic data including the Survey of Current Business, Regional Economic Accounts and more.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Site offers many interesting statistics on crime including the important compilations Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics and The World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems, a factbook which provides narrative descriptions of the criminal justice systems of countries around the world.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Consumer Price Index plus other price indexes, employment/unemployment, average earnings, etc. This site also includes the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Includes TranStats, North American Transportation in Figures, and more.
Economic Research Service (Department of Agriculture)
Economic and other social science analysis and information on agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America. State Fact Sheets and more.
Energy Information Administration
Energy statistics/topics.
Internal Revenue Service, Tax Statistics
There's a wealth of information about the financial composition of individuals, business taxpayers, tax exempt organizations and more. The same types of information you would find in the Statistics of Income Bulletin (SOI Bulletin).
National Agricultural Statistics Service
This agency (NASS) studies virtually every facet of U.S. agriculture--production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm aspects of the industry.
National Center for Education Statistics
Includes Tables & Figures Search along with much, much more.
National Center for Health Statistics
Choosing the Data Warehouse gets you to many statistics as well as to CDC Wonder. Try Fast Stats A-Z for frequently requested statistics.
National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies
Data on scientists and engineers in the United States.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Statistics on banks and the banking industry.
Federal Reserve Board
Includes their statistical releases and Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District (commonly known as The Beige Book) which reviews current economic conditions in the United States (see link at the bottom of the Beige Book page to access other years of this resource).
GPO Access
Site makes available many government resources including Economic Indicators and the Economic Report of the President.
Treasury Dept. Bureau of the Public Debt
Information on Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds & Special Securities sold by the Bureau. Includes current as well as some historic rate information.
Statistical Programs of the United States Government
This publication from the Office of Management and Budget discusses budgets and plans for the federal programs that collect statistics; the appendices include a list of federal statistics websites.

Using Non-Federal Sites for Federal Statistical Data

An increasing number of non-federal sites are offering federal statistics, usually offering interactive searching and/or access to products not available at an agency's site. As examples:

One easy way to find such sites is to use the pages put together by government documents librarians who have had time to be webmasters, both creating web pages and surfing the net to find and update the information regularly. The Statistics Subject Guides in GODORT's Government Information Clearinghouse are a good place to start locating these resources.

Created by Mary M. Finley