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Finding Statistics

A guide to finding statistics in different subject areas.

How to Use this Guide

Use the Home page for a better understanding of how to find statistics on the web and at the library. You can also see answers to student FAQs related to finding statistics.

Use the Resources page for suggested web-based statistics resources based on subject area.

Use the Evaluating Statistics page for criteria on determining validity of statistics. 

Use the Citing Data and Statistics page for instructions on citing in MLA and APA format.

Use the Chat with a Librarian box on the left side of each page to ask a Berkeley College librarian for assistance. 

What are statistics?

  image of a graph

Data vs. Statistics

Data is individual pieces of factual information recorded and used for the purpose of analysis. It is the raw information from which statistics are created.

Statistics are the results of data analysis - its interpretation and presentation. In other words some computation has taken place that provides some understanding of what the data means. Statistics are often, though they don’t have to be, presented in the form of a table, chart, or graph. 

Albertson, A., Joslin, R., Hilleman, B. "What Is Research Data?" LibGuides @ Macalester. Macalester College, 2017. 

Search Strategies

1. Consider who might publish the information you are looking for.

  • Government agencies: The government is the largest producer of statistics overall. Government statistics are free and publicly available.
  • Non-Government organizations: Many independent non-commercial and nonprofit organizations collect and publish statistics that support their social platform. For more information about NGOs, visit Duke Libraries NGO Research Guide
  • Academic Institutions: Academic research projects funded by public and private foundations create a wealth of data. Some statistical publications are available freely online, but others may require access through library resources.
  • Private Sector: Commercial firms collect and publish data and statistics as a paid service to clients or to sell broadly. Examples include marketing firms, pollsters, trade organizations, and business information. This information is almost always is fee-based and may not always be available for public release. 

Adapted from MSU Libraries Research Guides found at:

2. Look for statistics published in academic journals, news articles, and magazine articles.

  • These will usually be within the text or as figures (tables, charts, graphs). 
  • Check the bibliography/citations from the author to see where statistics were obtained.
  • When searching a database, combine the keywords for your topic with terms like:
    • statistics
    • numbers
    • data
    • trends
    • polling 
    • figures
    • tables

The following Berkeley College databases are useful for finding articles with included statistics: