Economics: Facts & Statistics



OOOWhile we would not suggest government statistics are suspect, we are also aware that every administration has an agenda (governments without agendas don't do anything), and that they are aware that the statistics they put out tend to further or hinder that agenda. Along the way, may we suggest Statistics Every Writer Should Know, which is not so much statistics, but a simple guide to understanding them.

Provides links to statistics and to government statistical agencies with a description of the kinds of information they provide.
Bureau of Economic Analysis
An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce: international, national, local and industry statistics. Also look under "Current releases" and for a quick view, "Overview of the Economy".
Bureau of Labor Statistics
From the Department of Labor, a wealth of economic information down to the state and city level.
A to Z Index: of labor statistics
Compensation Cost Trends Provides current and historical statistics on wages.
Consumer Price Indexes: Detailed reports.
Economy at a Glance Provides a quick look.
Employment, Hours and Earnings: As written.
Foreign Labor Statistics: Basic metrics for major industrialized nations.
Labor Force Statistics: Everything relevant to the topic.
Monthly Labor Review: Journal of the BLS, archived to 1988.
National Compensation Survey: Earnings, compensation and benefits.
Report on the American Workforce: For 2001.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
The lowdown on crime around the nation.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
All sorts of health statistics, including workplace health and safety.
A compendium of several government agencies' statistics compiled by The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
Congressional Budget Office
Generally well-respected, the CBO was created for Congress as its own non-partisan economic reserach tool. The CBO also includes a glossary.
Council of Economic Advisers
Look under publications, and remember the CEA is the creature of the Prez. See their monthly Economic Indicators and the annual Economic Report of the President.
Department of Agriculture: Economic Research Service
USDA Economics, Statistics and Market Information System
Department of Commerce: Economic Analysis
Commerce's links to a multitude of statistics on the economy.
Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics
Department of Energy: Energy Information Administration: Broken down by a number of vectors - fuel, geography, sector, price, etc; both national and international stats..
Department of Health & Human Services: Health Statistics
Breakdown of national health expenditures from 1980 to 2001.
Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD User
Its Data Sets offer a wealth of statistics on all aspects of housing and urbam conditions.
Department of Justice
ATF Online: Arson, explosives and firearms statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
FBI Uniform Crime Reports
Department of State Background Notes
Economic, demoraphic, geographic and historical facts for every country in the world.
Department of Treasury
Bureau of the Public Debt: How much do we owe?
Tax Stats: Who paid and how much.
Economic Report of the President

The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices. (At least, that's the official description. It's also 5.4 MB to download.)

Economic Statistics Briefing Room
General economic statistics from the White House.
Economics and Statistics Administration
From the Department of Commerce, their economic indicators page gathers data from a number of sources within the department.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is mainly intended to insure bank deposits against institutional failures, but offers an abundance of statistics and information.

RECON: Charts and table of state and regional economic statistics

State Economic Profiles: Quarterly summaries off state economic data; clear and straight-forward.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council

The Council is a formal interagency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act: Where banks disclose their mortagage practices into aggregate tables. See the Geocoding system where America is divided into median income and housing tracts.
Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Monetary policy and financial services to the nation. For a brief report on major economic sectors of the economy see the Federal Reserve Beige Book. Go to "Full Report". See also the important reports, analyses and learning tools on the individual bank web sites. Not only banks, the Feds are major economic policy research and educational institutions. Their research and journals are freely available, and cover a wide range of topics. They are always a good read.

Statistics: Releases and Historical Data
Fed in Print: Searchable database of Fed data and publications.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Survey of Professional Forecasters: The oldest quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts in the United States: actual releases, documentation, mean and median forecasts of all the respondents as well as the individual responses from each economist.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
Federal Reserve Economic Data: A wealth of statistics on the nation's economic status.
FRASER: Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research provides both current and historical national economic data.
Liber8: An economic information portal for librarians and students.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
National Bureau of Economic Research: Economic statistics and reseach into major economic trends and issues.
National Science Foundation: Division of Science Resource Statistics: Statistics on scientific education, research (public and private) and facilities.
Office of Management and Budget
Created to assist the President in preparing the federal budget, where you'll find U.S. Budget 2008. It's also a good place to discover the President's other economic policies.
Regional Economic Statistics: From the FDIC, an analysis of economic statistics on the regional, state and metropolitan levels.
U.S. Census Bureau
The whole shebang.
American Fact Finder: The Bureau's user friendly access to current data.
Census Economic Briefing Rooms: Major economic indicators.
Consumer Income and Poverty: Stats going back to 1946.
Economic Statistics of Households: Long list of profiling documents.
Economic Subjects Index: If you can't find it here....
Federal, State and Local Governments: Tax and fiscal data.
Housing and Household Economic Statistics : As written.
Index of Leading Economic Indicators: Yes, that one.
International Data Base: Individual country statistics
Money Income in the United States: Demographics and distribution.
Statistical Abstracts of the United States: Wide variety of demographic and economic data.
Statistics of U.S. Businesses
U.S. Congress 1998-2007 Economic Indicators
Monthly reports prepared for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
United States Department of Agriculture Economics and Statistics System
From Cornell University, farms, food, livestock, land, water & trade.

Private organizations, too, have their agendas, and while we have tried to edit the more egregious examples out of this list, the reader is still best advised to scout the territory wherein she hunts.
Based, of course, on the 2000 census from the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.
Columbia University U.S. Government Documents: the Budget Process
Not only the budget, but valuable analyses of it by both government and private institutions.
The Conference Board: Economic Indicators
Leading indicators, condumer confidence, help-wanted advertising index and corporate confidence.
Cost of Living Calculator
Simple and easy to use from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
EconData and Links
From Dr. John Shaw of CSU/Fresno, a digest of economic information with links to sources. Not updated since 2005.
Easy portal to government statistics.
Busy home page and takes tinkering with, but worth the trouble.
Environmental Working Group: Farm Subsidies
Breakdown of subsidies by category down to the county level.
Federation of Tax Administrators
Comparative state tax data.
From, a wealth of information. Requires free registration.
Historical Census Browser
From the GeoStat center at the University of Virginia, all the way back to 1790.
The International Monetary Fund
The IMF provides information on long-term economic trends and issues along with individual country reports.
National Center for Charitable Statistics
A project of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health and healthcare research and statistics.
Social Explorer
From Queens College of CUNY, map-based demographic data from the 1990 and 2000 census covering a wide array of parameters from age to ethnicity and family structure to transportation to work.
Social Science Data Analysis Network
Sounds complex, but its CensusScope and Ameristat features provide easy-to-access census and demographic information. From the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.
State Health Facts
From the Kaiser Family Foundation. A large spectrum opf topics are covered.
Statistical Resources on the Web
From the University of Michigan, an omnibus directory of statistical sites.
TRAC: Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse
From Syracuse University. Present focus on federal law enforcement agencies: FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, DHS and Immigration.
World Bank Data & Research
Good source of national statistics.
Current exchange rates for major currencies.