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Statistical Resources: Statistical Resources

This guide provides links and information about useful collections of statistics of various kinds.

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Statistics is the study and manipulation of data, including gathering, reviewing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data.  It is also a collection of quantitative (of, relating to, or involving the measurement of quantity or amount) data that can be used as evidence within research. 

Using Statistics

When either writing or speaking, using appropriate statistics can help prove or disprove your point.   Statistics can help provide concrete examples of a larger trend, give the basis for an important chart or graph, or make theoretical arguments tangible. This works best with statistics from reliable resources.  Logically weaving statistics into your essays, papers, or speeches will strengthen your work.

What can statistics do? 

  • Strengthen your argument
  • Provide objective information so you can debate arguments
  • Put an argument into context

Things You Need to Consider:

  • Statistics in and of themselves can't make the argument for you
  • Like direct quotations from outside sources, you must interpret statistics and apply them to the point you're making
  • Treat statistics as evidence that requires interpretation

General Statistics - US

Criminal Justice, Crime, & Victimization

Educational Statistics

General Statistics for the United States

The largest collector of statistics is the (US) federal government, and much of the data is available on government websites, often on the site of the agency or office (Department of Education, Office of Environmental Management, etc.) that is responsible for collecting the data.

Health & Healthcare Statistics

Databases

You can find statistics in many of our library databases.

Helpful Hints:

  • Sometimes statistics are buried within the text of a journal, magazine, book, or newspaper.   As you research, take the time to skim through your findings to discover potential sources of statistics.   Follow leads in the articles to locate other statistics.
  • Look at graphs, charts, and diagrams to find statistical information. 
  • Sometimes statistics are hidden within other articles but can't simply be found by searching the word "statistics."  When searching library databases, combine your topic search with a subject search for statistics.
  • Academic journals often contain statistics to back up any research that is done.

Search Words - try these keywords or subject terms with your topic searches to focus on statistics:

Statistics  -  Data  -  Numbers  -  Trends  -  Polling  -  Figures  -  Tables  -  Charts  -  Graphs

Search Examples:

  • Immigration AND Statistics
  • Global Warming AND Trends

(part of above courtesy of Modesto Junior College)