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Applied Economics and Statistics

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, and be sure to consider any possible bias.

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

Find organizations by topic by consulting the Encyclopedia of Associations: National Organizations in the US or the Encyclopedia of Associations: International Organizations.

Google search results with the following search terms: statistics site:*.gov - pulls up different US government sites dealing with statistics

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
   look accurate based on the data? If it was a survey, can you read the survey questions?