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Find Statistics & Data

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

How to Look for Statistics or Data

Knowing the answers to these three questions - what, where, and when - will direct your search for statistics.

Let's make the question "I need education statistics" into a more specific question so that you can locate appropriate information.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I need statistics about?
    • For example, if you are looking for education statistics, be specific about what you need.
    • Your "what" could be: schools, teachers, students, etc.
  • Where do I need statistics for?
    • Geography plays an important role in data collection and reporting.
    • Your "where" could be: global, national (country-level), state or province, county, city, etc.
  • When, that is, what time period do I need statistics for?
    • Do you need data for a single year (2017), multiple years (2000-2015), and do you need data for certain time intervals (monthly, daily, hourly, etc.).

A better question is: "I need data on the number of students (what) enrolled in grades nine through twelve for all counties in Virginia (where) for the years 2007 through 2017 (when)."

Now that you have a well-formulated question, the next step is thinking about who might collect and publish the information.