Statistics & Government Documents


When searching for statistics, try to consider which organization would be interested in or required to collect the information. Then try to find those organizations to see if they do indeed make such data available.

In the LibraryStatisticsGovernment DocumentsUS Census

National Data Book (Statistical Abstract)  HA 202.U5

2010 OECD Factbook HC 59.15.033

State Rankings 2010  HA 214.H68

The Information Plus Series is available behind the reference desk and online through Opposing Viewpoints in Context. This series compiles data, both current and historical, on a wide variety of contemporary social issues.

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context Full Text. Pro/Con articles on a variety of subjects, statistics, and a wide variety of other reference and periodical sources. Via Gale. Also available behind the reference desk
  • Washington State Statistics

    State Government Statistics - a comprehensive guide from WSU


    Federal Statistics

    Provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government. More than 100 agencies provided data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more. 

    Statistical Abstract of the United States
    1878-2012 (the final edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of the Census. As of April 2012, older data is still available even though the Census has stopped producing new editions.

    Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The BEA produces and disseminates economic accounts statistics that provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of economic activity.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics 
    The BJS is the primary source for criminal justice statistics in the United States. The site provides links to publications, data collections, data analysis tools; related links to topics such as corrections, courts and sentencing and crime type; and a link to other federal agencies which fall under the Department of Justice, e.g. the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics 
    The BLS serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor.

    Consumer Price Index (CPI)
    Monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)  
    The mission of the NCES is the collection and analysis of education related data.  Among other features, the site provides links to publications and surveys, data and data analysis tools, and annual reports.


    International Statistics

    United Nations Statistics Division – Access their publications as well as their data.

    UN Data – A portal for finding statistics from all the UN divisions.

    UNESCO Institute for Statistics – “…cross-nationally comparable statistics on education, science and technology, culture, and communication….”

    Washington State Government Documents

    The nearest depository library for Washington State government documents is Western Washington University, in their Government Documents collection.

    Washington State Government Documents – a guide from WSU

    Federal Documents

    WWU Government Document Subject Guide
    Western is a depository library for U.S. government publications.  The federal government sends WWU thousands of publications, which the university promises to make available to the public. Western has been a depository since the 1960s and has hundreds of thousands of federal publications.  Western is also a depository for Washington state and Canadian federal documents. Open Hours (Government Printing Office)
    A service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to information produced by the Federal government, including Congressional bills, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional Record, GAO reports, Supreme Court decisions and much more.


    United States Census 2010

    American FactFinder
    An interactive, searchable database maintained by the Census Bureau, includes Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Economic Census, and other data sets. Allows users to compile census data into tables, maps and downloadable files, which can be viewed or printed.


    The US Census Bureau publishes much more than just the Decennial Census! Here are a few of its other offerings.

    • Census of Population and Housing
    • County and City Data Book
      Data for all counties and cities with populations over 25,000. Click “Data Books” to see available options.
    • Economic Census
    • Map Stats
      State and county data from many Federal sources
    • State and Metropolitan Area Data Book
      Subjects covered: age, agriculture, births, business establishments, communications, construction, cost of living, crime, deaths, education, elections, employment, energy, finance, government, health, households, housing, immigration, income, manufactures, marriages and divorces, media, natural resources, population, poverty, race and Hispanic origin, residence, retail sales, science and engineering, social services, tourism, transportation, and veterans.
    • Statistical Abstract of the United States
      Latest edition
    • Statistics of U.S. Businesses
      Provides national and subnational data on the distribution of economic data by enterprise size and industry. SUSB covers most of the country’s economic activity. The series excludes data on nonemployer businesses, private households, railroads, agricultural production, and most government entities.

    Citing Government Documents:

    • MLA Style from the University of Nevada Reno

    Always try to cite from the original source for statistics as opposed to where you have found the information.

    Rowena McKernan

    Ro is an instructional librarian and would love to answer any questions you may have. Email her at