We often conflate data and statistics, using them interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.
Data are the raw numbers used to create statistics.
Statistics are a way of interpreting or summarizing that data.
Finding Data and Statistics
Ask yourself these two questions when searching for data and statistics:
1. Who might collect and publish this type of data?
Government agencies, state agencies, non-profits, for-profits, and academic institutions regularly conduct and publish research. If you are not sure where to find data/statistics, try to discover the group or agency most likely to collect and publish that information.
2. What type of publications would cite this data?
If you can't find data/statistics through one of our databases or freely online, try searching for academic articles that would cite the type of information you hope to find.
Get Help Using Statistical Software
We have a number of books on using SPSS and Excel to analyze data and create statistics. If you need help selecting one of these resources, speak to a librarian.
SPSS is installed on all the Windows PCs in Wardman Library.
United States Data and Statistics
American FactFinderProvides access to population, housing, and industry data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
Data.govProvides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets.
Historical Statistics of the United StatesHistorical Statistics of the United States presents the numerical history of the United States. This definitive reference work contains more than 37,000 annual time series of quantitative historical information covering virtually every quantifiable dimension of American history: population, work and welfare, economic structure and performance, governance, and international relations, all from the earliest times to the present.
Statistical Abstract of the United StatesPublished since 1878, the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Ceased publication in 2012.
California State Data CenterThe State Census Data Center (SCDC) provides services to state and local government agencies and to the general public. The Center processes machine-readable data files; prepares customized reports; and provides user consultation, data analysis, mapping, and training workshops upon request. The SCDC library houses publications and maps from the decennial censuses, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and other special and periodic surveys.
List of California State AgenciesTry searching for statistical information according to the state agency that would most likely publish it. For example, see especially the Department of Education, Department of Finance, and the Department of Public Health.
Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaNonprofit with reports and data on economic development, education, employment and income, environment, government, health, housing, immigration, infrastructure, political participation, population, public finance, social policy, transportation, and water.
International Data and Statistics
GapMinderA tool for visualizing data from a variety of international agencies.
OECD Factbook StatisticsThe OECD Factbook Statistics database includes data selected from more than 40 statistical databases illustrating the demographic, social, economic and environmental developments for its member countries and major additional countries. The user can easily compare each indicator for a country with those of other OECD countries. OECD Countries covered include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile,Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Non-OECD countries covered include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa. Topics covered include population and migration; production and productivity; household income, wealth and debt; globalisation, trade and foreign direct investment (FDI); prices, interest rates and exchange rates; energy and transportation; labour, employment and unemployment; science and technology including research and development (R&D) and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector; environment including natural resoures, water,and air and climate; education resources and outcomes; government expenditures, debt, revenues, taxes, agricultural support and foreign aid; and health status, risk and resources.
UNESCO Institute for StatisticsThe Data Centre contains over 1,000 types of indicators and raw data on education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication. The UIS collects the data for more than 200 countries and territories from Member States and international organizations.
UNICEF Statistics and MonitoringEconomic and social statistics on the countries and territories of the world, with particular reference to children’s well-being.
WorldBank DataAn analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics, from GDP to literacy rates and more.