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Research Guides

United States federal government information

A guide to identify US governmental resources prepared by Sam-chin Li, University of Toronto Libraries

General

Census

 

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

There is no one single index to all federal statistics, check Find Data and Statistics from the Government. 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.

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

Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (ProQuest online)

  • 1878 - current

United States has had a census every ten years since 1790 (decennial census of population and housing).

The only censuses not available online are 1970 and 1980.

Decennial census data are outdated by the time they are published, an ongoing American Community Survey (ACS) provides more accurate demographic profiles on an annual basis.

Comparison of Census 2000 and ACS 2005

There are other U.S.censuses besides the population and housing census:

  • Economic Census (conducted every five years): including Manufacturing census, Mining census, Construction data, Transporting census, Retail trade, Whole-sale trade and etc.
  • Census of Agriculture (conducted every 5 years)
  • Census of Governments (conducted every 5 years) focuses on state and local governments.

Guides, catalogs, and indexes of the census

Data repository

Demography

Economic statistics

Election

Historical statistics

Labour and income statistics

Public Opinion

iPOLL Databank (Roper Center): question-level database of US public opinion. (Restricted to UT IP addresses, individual user registration required)

Trade statistics

 

Vital statistics

Periodicals

Indexes