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Government Publications- U.S. Statistical Resources

Getting Started

The aim of this guide is to act as a finding aid to US Federal Government statistics.

Governments collect statistics on a vast array of topics, including the economy, the environment, science, education, population, housing, labour, immigration, health and much more. This information is used as the basis for funding further research, resource allocation, program development and funding, business planning and many other vital socio-economic activities.

Capitol Hill

Flickr Capitol Hill by Wally Gobetz

The federal government has a mandate to collect and analyze data to satisfy legal requirements and emerging national needs.

While FedStats is the hub for online federal agency statistics, there is no one single index to all federal statistics. Individual agencies often publish their own data which can be found by searching their own web sites, the Monthly Catalog or the American Statistics Index.

The U.S. Census BureauBureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Dept. of Labor are the three agencies that supply the most used data in the United States.

Frequently Used Statistical Resources

Statistical Abstract  of the United States
Comprehensive annual collection of statistics from all U.S. government agencies and select international and state statistics. 

Statistical Abstract - Earlier Editions
From the US Census Bureau, the Statistical Abstract summarizes statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private  organizations. This site provides PDF versions of the publication from 1878 - 2012.

Historical Statistics on Banking
From the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, this site provides access to Commercial Bank reports. National aggregates are available from 1934 to present, and state aggregates from 1966 to present. Also has failures & assistance transactions from 1934 to present and reports from savings institutions from 1984 to present.

American FactFinder
American FactFinder is the portal to the major products of the U.S. Census Bureau, including the decennial census (with access to the 19902000 and 2010 Censuses), the latest American Community Survey, theEconomic Census, annual population estimates, and annual economic surveys. It can generate maps, tables and reports from a variety of Census Bureau sources.

The Western Illinois University Library has a guide on using American FactFinder.

FedStats
More than 100 agencies in the United States Federal Government produce statistics of interest to the public. Sources are listed by both statistical agency and within an A-Z topic list.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Provides access to the major economic indicators for the U.S.: labor force statistics, the American Time Use Survey, prices and living conditions, compensation, productivity and technology, regional data, inflation rates, pay and benefits. The One-Screen data search allows you to create tables quickly and easily by choosing all your variables at the same time, on the same screen.

Economic Indicators - Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
The ESA releases 12 monthly and quarterly Principal Federal Economic Indicators collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Indicators include retail sales, construction spending, gross domestic product, new home sales, personal income and psending, wholesale trade, and others.

Economic Indicators - FDsys (Federal Digital System)
monthly publication prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers for the Joint Economic Committee. It provides economic information on gross domestic product, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics. The website provides access to editions dating back to 1995.

  • Unofficial versions of this publication are available back to 1948 from FRASER (Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research).

International Historical Statistics, 1750-2010
3-volume set. The most authoritative collection of statistics available. Updated to 2010 wherever possible, it provides key economic and social indicators for the last 260 years, serving as an essential reference source. Includes a section on America.