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Find Data & Statistics: Best Places to Start

Use this guide as a starting point for locating statistics or data on a topic.

Frequently Used Sources

Start with these popular sources to look for data or statistics on a variety of topics. These sources are often the best places to start because they answer a wide range of questions. Many of these sources will report statistics in tables or charts that can be copied and used in a paper.

International and US Coverage

Data-Planet Statistical Datasets Data on a wide variety of topics produced by U.S. Federal agencies and states, private organizations, major intergovernmental organizations and governments. Access includes detailed data on China from the China Data Center.

OECDiLibrary Premium access to statistical information from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

ProQuest Statistical Insight Keep your search for data efficient and focused by searching this index to statistical publications. Indexes major U.S. and international data sources.

Social Explorer Premium access to easy-to-use U.S. Census of Population and Housing and American Community Survey data as well as data from UK, Canada, and Europe. Also includes statistics on religious affiliation and other topics. If you can't find the US Census data you need in Social Explorer, try American FactFinder.

Statista Premium access to statistics, consumer survey results and industry studies from over 18,000 sources on over 60,000 topics; mostly current data.

Statistical Abstracts of the World Statistics reported mainly at the national level.

UNData (open access) International statistics from United Nations statistical resources.

World Bank Data (open access) International statistics and data ranging from easy-to-use to research data sets.

United States Focused

PolicyMap Data mapping tool accessing over 15,000 indicators.

SAGE Stats: State & Local  Gather and visualize state and local statistics..

SimplyAnalytics Mapping tool for retrieving demographic, business, and marketing data.

Statistical Abstract of the United States, ProQuest (2013 - ) Authoritative and comprehensive summary of current statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States.
For 1878-2012 use Statistical Abstract of the United States collection from the Census Bureau.

Historical

Cross-National Time-Series (CNTS) Data Archive Offers a listing of international and national country-data facts.
The database contains statistical information on a range of countries and topics, with data entries ranging from 1815 to the present. 

Historical Statistics of the United States U.S. national statistics back to colonial times.

International Historical Statistics Country-level statistics covering the time period 1750-2010.

Data Searches and Indexes

Zanran searches the Web for numeric data and statistics.

Data.gov (open access) U.S. government's open data portal. Search over 164,000 data sets on a wide array of topics available.

DataCite Search Find, access, and reuse data by searching across international data repositories.

Google Dataset Search (beta) Search datasets stored across the Web hosted in thousands of repositories.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Access a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction. Note that before downloading data, you will be asked to set up an account. Some online analysis is available. Most datasets will need to be downloaded for analysis in a statistical software package. You will need to set up an account through ICPSR before you can download data.

Related Research Guides

The library has compiled numerous guides on looking for data, and many are linked to on the Statistics by Topic or Type page. Below is a selection of guides which focus on using specialized data techniques.