I need statistics for my paper …. I need data on the alternative fuel use in the United States … I need to know how many people jog or skate… Librarians hear these types of questions very often. There are a myriad of statistical sources available on the Internet, however it can be difficult to find where to start.
Statistical Abstract of the United States is a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. This resource is a great starting point to locate statistics on almost any topic. Statistical Abstract of the United States was published annually by the American government from 1878-2012 and is one of the best known statistical reference publications. Since 2013 it is published in print and online by ProQuest and is available through GALILEO. To access click Databases A-Z on GALILEO home page and select Statistical Abstract of the United States in alphabetical list. GPC GALILEO password is required to use this resource off-campus.
From the Statistical Abstract homepage you can both search and browse. Search using the box at the top of the table of contents. Browse any of the 30 sections by clicking on the section name.
Results from browsing will include the section title and information, as well as the link to download the entire PDF section. Results from both searching and browsing include the number of tables in the result set, and the list of the individual tables in your results.
Use the facets in the left column to refine search results
The easiest way to find tables relevant to your research is to type your keyword in the search box. (For example, type “bowling” if you want to find out how many people participate in this activity.) Quite often the data in the tables is organized by year, age, gender or household income to help you get a complete picture.
The source information is just below the table, so you will always know what government agency collected the information you are using.
Publication information is also below the table. Sample APA and MLA citations are at the bottom of the page.
To learn more about this great reference tool, visit Quick Start: Statistical Abstract of the United States research guide created by ProQuest.
And please ask us if you have more questions or need help finding good statistical sources!
~Sofia Slutskaya, Librarian, Clarkston Campus