Tutorial: Databases of Statistical Information
IntroductionA wealth of demographic and other data is available on a city, county, state and national level in the United States. But navigating the maze of government and private agencies that collect data to find statistics on a particular topic is often daunting. This guide lists the websites of major government agencies and some private organizations where you can find online searchable databases and other statistical information on different subjects. Many of the sites have data you can download, often in a spreadsheet format, and then use to create a data visualization or map mashup. The guide is organized topically, so you can find databases with statistical information on specific subjects, such as crime, education, the environment, immigration, and so on. It includes websites with data on California and California cities, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. National sites are listed first in each topical section, followed by sites with data on California and Bay Area cities. Note: Besides databases with statistical information, there are many other online databases for locating information on a specific company or person, such as property ownership, criminal cases, civil court cases, business filings, professional licenses, etc. For those types of databases, see the other Public Records Tutorials on the different topics.
Census and Demographics
U.S. Census BureauCensus.gov The main page for accessing data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. American Fact Finder The Census Bureau’s gateway site to population, housing, economic and other data, down to a city, zip code census tract and block level. Select Data Sets in the menu on the left to see a list of available data. State and County QuickFacts National database of selected Census, American Community Survey and other economic, business, government and geogrpahical data for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with +25,000 people. CenStats Databases The U.S. Census Bureau provides access to databases related to building permits, imports/exports, employment and earnings (by county), occupational breakdowns by race, and other info. TIGER map shape files The U.S. Census Bureau provides map shape files that can be used to display census data. They can be merged with data in GIS programs or online mapping sites such as Google Fusion Tables.
IRECensus.ire.org Investigative Reporters and Editors has a tool that gives journalists an easier way to download 2010 Census data.
Minnesota Population CenterIPUMS USA IPMUS, the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series at the University of Minnesota compiles current and historic U.S. Census data at an online site that makes it easy to create custom data tables on a national, state and local level.
IRSU.S. Population Migration Data Numbers of people moving into or out of counties and states in the United States.
California Department of FinanceDemographic Research Demographic data on California, including county data. Many of the datasets are downloadable as text or spreadsheet files.
Association of Bay Area GovernmentsBay Area Census Census data from 2010 for Bay Area counties, cities, census tracts and blocks, compiled by the Association of Bay Area Governments in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Includes historical data as far back as 1860.
Crime and Criminal Justice
FBIUniform Crime Reports Annual national crime statistics as well as crime data on cities of more than 100,000 population.
U.S. Bureau of Justice StatisticsData Collections The Bureau of Justice Statistics does national surveys to gather data a variety of criminal justice issues, including crime victimization (what crimes people report they have been the victims of), jail populations, adults on parole and probation, etc.
Justice Research and Statistics AssociationStatistical Analysis Centers Justice Research and Statistics Association provides an interactive U.S. map with links to state agencies that collect, analyze, and disseminate justice data.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial FundOfficer Fatality Data Data charts on law enforcement officer fatalities each year, as well as on assaults on officers and injuries.
California Department of JusticeCrime Data The Office of the Attorney General’s site has statistical tables, as well as reports, publications, and links to federal, state, local agency and other statistics. Crime In Selected California Jurisdictions Semi-annual reports on crimes reported by city and county law enforcement agencies.
Oakland CrimespottingOakland Crime Map An interactive map that plots crimes committed in Oakland, sortable by type of crime, time of day or neighborhood police beat. The Oakland Crimespotting site, which was created by people at Stamen Design in San Francisco, uses data reported by the Oakland Police Department.
U.S. Drug Enforcement AdministrationStatistics & Facts Data on drug arrests and seizures compiled by the main agency enforcing federal drug laws.
United States Department of Health and Human ServicesSubstance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive Survey data on drug use that can be viewed online or downloaded.
Pro PublicaDollars for Doctors A searchable database of payments made to doctors by pharmaceutical companies, compiled by the onilne news publication Pro Publica.
Economics and Business
U.S. Commerce DepartmentBureau of Economic Analysis This site has detailed data on business and economic trends in the United States on an international, national and regional level.
U.S. Census BureauBusiness & Industry The Census Bureau does regular surveys on various national business and economic indicators, as well as an economic census every five years with statistical data down to the county and city level.
California Department of FinanceEconomic and Financial Research Economic analyses and forecasts, county level data and an annual California Statistical Almanac. Latest California Economic Data Economic data on California including employment, income, consumer prices, construction and foreign trade.
U.S. Department of EducationResearch & Statistics Educational data on U.S. schools such as state rankings, SAT scores, evaluations of school programs, school crime and safety. etc. The Data Tools are particulary helpful.
California Department of EducationData & Statistics Data and educational studies on schools in California
Education Data PartnershipEd-Data Compare fiscal, demographic and performance data on all of California’s K-12 public schools at the Educational Data Partnership site.
LA TimesCalifornia Schools Guide Test scores, demographics and comments about California’s public, prvate and charter schools schools, compiled by the Los Angeles Times.
Employment and Labor
U.S. Department of LaborBureau of Labor Statistics The main federal government agency that tracks employment and labor data.
Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationStatistics & Data Data on workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
California Employment Development DepartmentLabor Market Info Data Library An online data library of up-to-date labor-related statistics. To find data on counties and cities click on the link for Unemployment Rate and Labor Force.
U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyEnvirofacts The EPA has an online database you can search by location, including a city, zip code or street addres, to find facilities that are releasing pollutants or toxics into the air, water or ground. Toxic Release Inventory Database of toxic chemical releases, searchable by zip code.
U.S Fish and Wildlife ServiceNational GIS Data National and regional data used to map changes in the environment, including coastal resources and critical habitat.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationThe National Climatic Data Center The world’s largest active archive of weather and climate data. World Data Center for Meterology World Data Center(WDC) for Meteorology in Asheville is one component of a global network of international exchange of scientific data. National Geophysical Data Center The NGDC provides geophysical data from the Sun to the Earth and Earth’s sea floor and solid earth environment, including Earth observations from space. A good example is National Snow and Ice Data Center maps of polar ice. National Oceanographic Data Center The NODC archives and distributes oceanographic data and information. These data include physical, biological, and chemical measurements from in situ oceanographic observations, satellite remote sensing, and industrial oceanographic activities in coastal and deep ocean areas.
Federal Emergency Management AgencyFEMA GIS Enterprise Services GIS mapping of natural disasters.
U.S. Energy Information AdministrationElectricity Data Files Electric power data are collected to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding. The most widely used data are the Electric Power Monthly and the Electric Power Annual.
U.S. Fire AdministrationFire Statistics Collects all sorts of data on fires.
U.S. Centers for Disease ControlInjury Prevention and Control – Fires The CDC compiles statistics on accidents, including fires.
National Fire Protection AssociationResearch Compiles data on fires and fire safety.
Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of AgricultureNational Agricultural Statistics Service Data on crops and livestock on a national, state and county level.
California Department of Food and AgricultureCalifornia Agricultural Production Statistics Data on crops and livestock in California.
California Department of Public HealthCalifornia Statewide Surveys Surveys of dietary and eating habits of adults, teens and children in California.
U.S. GovernmentData.gov A portal site for accessing U.S. government information databases.
Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaData Depot Survey and other data on a variety of topics that is downloadable at the Public Policy Institute website. Subject areas include education, environment, government, health, housing and public finance.
UC Berkeley News21 ProjectCityLab Hard-to-find statistical and demographic information on San Francisco Bay Area cities. Include data ranging from number of funeral parlors and liquor stores to veterinarians and midwives in each city. Created by a team of students working for the UC Berkeley News21 Project.
San FranciscoDataSF A clearinghouse for finding datasets produced by the city and county of San Francisco.
U.S. General Services AdministrationUSASpending.gov The federal government set up the USASpending.gov website that has a database of federal grants and contracts that have been awarded, searchable by contractor, government agency or location.
Center for Effective GovernmentFedSpending.org The Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) has a searchable database of U.S. government contracts, grants, and loans.
U.S. Recovery Accountability and Transparency BoardRecovery.gov Track federal stimulus spending by state, county, city, ZIP, project type, or even block-by-block.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionData & Statistics The CDC compiles national data on death and diseases, accidents and injuries.
MedicareData.Medicare.Gov Medicate archives hospital and nursing home performance, patient mortality rates, average payments for procedures and more.
Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationStatistics & Data Data on workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
California Department of Public HealthData Public health data, statistics and surveys for California.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentHUD User Statistics and studies on the U.S. housing market.
National Association of RealtorsHousing Statisitcs The National Association of Realtors provides the standard measurement of the residential real estate market. On or about the 25th of each month, NAR releases statistics on sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation, four regions, states and MSAs.
U.S. Department of Homeland SecurityImmigration Statistics The main U.S. government source of statisticial data on immigration
U.S. Census BureauInternational Migration The U.S. Census Bureau site with data on immigration to and emigration from the United States.
Migration Policy InstituteImmigration Data Hub The Migration Policy Institute provides access to their statistics, facts and maps on migratio and immigration in the U.S. and abroad, with databases that are searchable by state.
United NationsUNdata This United Nations web page has databases with different kinds of demographic information for countries around the world.
World BankData & Research Online databases of national and international statistics.
CIACIA World Factbook – Guide to Country Comparisons Generate charts comparing demographic data in different countries, downloadable as text files.
World Economic ForumReports The World Economic Forum does reports on a wide range of global issues.
Politics and Elections
UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental StudiesStatewide Database Data on voting, voter registration and the census, on a county, census tract and block level. Compiled by the Statewide Database for use in redistricting.
Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaData Depot Public opinion survey data on political participation and the mood of voters, as well as job approval ratings of elected officials in California, downloadable at the Public Policy Institute website. Check the areas under Government and Political Participation.
U.S. Census BureauStatistical Abstract – Population – Religion The annual U.S. Statistical Abstract published by the U.S. Census Bureau has some data on religious affliations and church membership. Religion Statistics and Publications The Census Bureau is prohibited by law from asking mandatory questions about religion in its surveys, but it does keep a page with links to other sources of information on religious affiliations and churches.
National Council of Churches USAYearbook of American and Canadian Churches (pdf) The yearbook publshed by the National Council of Churches has statistical data on the membership of major church groups in the U.S. and Canada. However, it is a paid publication that must be ordered. It is not available online.
American Statistical AssociationStatistics in Sports Links to the major sports associations and other sites that compile player and team statistics in different sports.
Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTraumatic Brain Injury
A CDC site with information and data on traumatic brain injuries, including a special section on “Concussion in Sports.”