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Data and Statistics  

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Key data & statistics resources

Here are some quick 'best bets' for finding data & statistics:

ICPSR- Wide-ranging searchable social science data archive

American Factfinder - U.S. Census, community survey, economic and population data

Roper Center Public Opinion Archives - The place to find public opinion polling data, from 1930s to current day

SimplyMap - Gather statistics and variables for a geographic area & visualize the results as interactive maps


A simple example made with SimplyMap

Pet ownership in greater Boston by census tract

Pet ownership in greater Boston, by census tract.  


Data vs. statistics

Data and statistics - what's the difference?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they're not quite the same thing.  

Data can be thought of as the information collected during a study.  Data are the results of measuring variables.  Data can be qualitative (e.g. eye color) or quantitative (e.g. annual income).

Statistics are produced when data is looked at in aggregate form, analyzed, and organized.  

Hint:  if the information you're looking at is expressed as a chart, table, or graph, you're looking at statistical information.

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