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Finding Statistics

General Collections of Statistics

Some Points to Consider

Who generates and publishes statistics?

Examples of some groups that generate statistics:

  • Government agencies (best known and most prolific producers)
  • International organizations
  • Think tanks
  • Independent survey, polling, market research, and data organizations
  • Economists and banks
  • Corporations
  • Universities
  • Research centers
  • Interest groups:  advocacy, religious, and nonprofit organizations
  • Publishers and media

What are some different types of statistics you might need?

  • Demographic: statistics of a population, or section of a population.

  • Economic: statistics relating to the economy, including business, trade, or economic indicators.

  • Education: statistics relating to education and learning at all levels.

  • Environment: statistics relating to all aspects of the environment and natural resources.

  • Health: statistics relating to the health and welfare of an individual, population or country.

  • Social: statistics relating to society and social issues including crime and justice, culture and social wellbeing.

What criteria do you use to evaluate statistical sources?

 

Attempt to determine  the quality of the data e.g. the research methodology used to gather the statistics, validity, and reliability of the research tool.  Some questions to ask:

  • Who is the author(s)? What are the author(s) qualifications/authority?

  • What is the date range of the data and is it intended to be current or historical?

  • Who is the intended audience?  What type of publication is the data published in and is the data clearly represented?

  • Are the statistics accurate?  Can they be verified?  Is there bias?

Reference Books