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Search for Statistical Sources: Overview

More on Primary Sources

Recommended Resources

Search Strategies

Find statistics on the web by adding "data" or "statistics" or "government" to your keyword search.

Ask yourself who would be most likely to generate a statistic on the desired topic. Consider these likely places. Be sure to consider possible bias.

  • Government agencies and departments
  • Professional or trade associations 
  • Special interest groups
  • Data collection agencies

Checklist for Evaluating Statistics

  • Who collected and published the statistics? What are their credentials?
  • What data or statistics are being reported? What populations are included?
  • Is the information contemporary to your topic?
  • Why was the information collected? Was it collected to understand, to persuade, to sell a product?
  • Can you find the original data source from which the statistics were created? Do the statistics looks accurate based on the data? If it was a survey, can you read the survey questions?