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Statistical Data: 2. Compendium

Sources of statistical data.

Strategy 2. Statistical Compendia

Statistical compendia provide a variety of statistics from a variety of sources. Even if the data that you want are not there, look at the footnotes or source notes for relevant tables for pointers to more comprehensive sources, often having more detailed or comprehensive statistics.

General compendia

  • Data Planet
    Datasets cover a wide range of subjects – including business, finance, banking, economics, sociology, political science, demography, criminal justice, energy, and more. Sources include public, private/commercial, and nongovernmental organizations.
  • Statista
    Integrates thousands of diverse topics of data and facts from a wide range of sources. Sources of information include market research, trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.
  • Social Explorer
    Access to current and historical census data and demographic information. Including more than 18,000 interactive maps from 1790 to 2010. US Census 1790-2010. American Community Survey 2005-2015. "Specialized U.S. data resources include the FBI Uniform Crime Report (2010 to 2015), American election results (1912 to 2016), Religious Congregations and Membership Study (1980 and 2010), Vulcan Project carbon emissions data (2002), US Business Patterns (2014), and County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program data (2010 to 2016). International data resources include the United Kingdom Census (2011), Canadian Census (2011), Eurostat (1990, 2000, 2010 to 2013), World Development Indicators (2013), and Irish religion and population data (1911 and 2001)." Some data are available down to the Block Group or Block levels. Dates of Coverage: 1790-Present.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States. Formerly published by the U.S. Census Bureau since 1879. "Comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States." A great place to start looking for data. Footnotes to tables lead you to more detailed or more current data. The introduction to each section provides a helpful summary of major sources. Previous editions are also available from the Census Bureau, HathiTrust, elsewhere online, or in print.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States.
    Comprehensive, searchable collection of statistics, including 37,000+ data sets that can be downloaded. A historical supplement to the Statistical Abstract of the United States. A great place to start looking for data. Footnotes to tables lead you to more detailed or more current data. The introduction to each section provides a helpful summary of major sources. Previous editions are available from the Census Bureau, HathiTrust, and elsewhere online and in print.
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). "A data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences." These datasets often require some expertise to use. For assistance, contact: Barbara Levergood, blevergo@bowdoin.edu, 207-725-3351.

Compendia of data for a particular geography

  • State rankings : a statistical view of America
  • State and Metropolitan Area Data Book
    "A convenient summary of statistics on the social and economic structure of the states, metropolitan areas, and micropolitan areas in the United States".
    | 1979 | 1982 | 1986 | 1991 | 1997-98 | 2006 | 2010 |
    Look for other copies of those editions at Internet Archive or HathiTrust.
  • County and City Data Book
    "A convenient summary of statistics on the social and economic structure of the counties and cities of the United States".
    | 1944 (city only) | 1947 (county only) | 1949 | 1952 | 1956 | 1962 | 1967 | 1972 | 1977 | 1983 | 1988 | 1994 | 2000 | 2007 |
    Look for other copies of those editions at Internet Archive or HathiTrust.
  • USA Counties
    "The database for USA Counties features over 6,000 items. [...] Files contain a collection of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration."

Compendia of data produced by a particular agency or organization

  • data.census.gov. Population, housing, economic and geographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau for a wide variety of geographies.

Compendia of data on a particular topic

Look for compendia under the "By Topic" tab above.

Compendia produced by U.S. States

  • For Maine, consult one of the Maine sources listed under State Blue Books or use Maine register, state yearbook and legislative manual, Main Libr JK2831. Some volumes are also available via HathiTrust, Internet Archive, and Google Books.
  • State Blue Books or similar publications often contain a statistical compendium for the state.
  • State statistical abstracts are listed in an appendix of the Statistical Abstract of the United States. Look in an appendix in an edition from around the time period of interest. Current edition: Statistical Abstract of the United States. Previous editions are also available online, 1878-, or in print through CBBcat.

Foreign Compendia

International Compendia

  • International Data Base, from the U.S. Census Bureau. "Find demographic indicators, population pyramids, and source information for countries and areas of the world with a population of 5,000 or more."
  • International Historical Statistics, 1750-
    Worldwide coverage of statistics, including population & vital statistics, labor, agriculture, industry, trade, transport & communications, agriculture, education, and national accounts.
  • Statistical yearbook, United Nations
  • World Development Indicators, World Bank

Strategies

Strategy 1. Start with a finding aid. Details

Strategy 2. Start with a statistical compendium.

Strategy 3. Start with an agency or organization. Details

Strategy 4. Look for relevant statistics reported in books or journal or newspaper articles. Find the source of those statistics.

Strategy 5. Search the Internet using your favorite search engine.

Contact

Bowdoin College Library
3000 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-725-3280
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