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Statistical Abstract of the United States

Public Opinion



  • Statistics are the result from raw data that have been interpreted and analyzed. They are often helpful when you're looking for a number or percentage to support an argument in your assignments, research papers, or presentations. A statistic will answer "how much" or "how many." Statistics are usually presented in a table, chart, or other visualization.

What do they contain?

  • Usually an average, a percentage, or a frequency as a result of data analysis
    • Examples:
      • The average unemployment rate in the United States in March 2022
      • The percentage of car accidents that occur during a snowstorm
      • The frequency of accidents involving teenage drivers

How often are these sources published?

  • Current statistics might be a year or older and not necessarily published on an annual basis and are based on how often the information is collected + the time it takes to analyze and process numbers.

Found in:

  • Websites for
    • government agencies (e.g. U.S. Census Bureau),
    • private organizations or non-profits (e.g. The American Cancer Society),
    • academic institutions, or
    • the private sector (for example, marketing firms, pollsters, or trade organizations).
  • Articles in journals, newspapers, and magazines.

Note: government statistics are free and publicly available, however, many other kinds of statistics require access through library subscription databases.

Library Databases

The databases below are a good starting point to find articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals. Looking for statistics embedded within these articles can be helpful. Search a keyword or two for your topic. For example, "obesity." Then combine your keyword search with a subject search ("SU Subject Term" ) for statistics.

Other Statistical Resources

The United States Census Bureau provides social and economic data and statistics. Census data can be useful for population and demographic data on people and households and on the socioeconomic status (education, occupation, income) of individuals and households. Learn how to find and analyze Census data with online videos from The Census Academy.

The U.S. federal government collects and disseminates statistical data across a broad range of subject areas. The following key statistical agencies provide information about the United States as a whole.

The State of California produces various statistics on many subjects and topic areas for California.


The international organizations and sources listed below provide comprehensive statistics on many topics and for many countries.


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