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.
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.