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Government Information Basics: Statistics

Who has it?

Statistics do not exist for everything: When looking for statistics it is important to ask yourself who is the information important to and who would collect the data? This will help you decide where to look for the data/statistics you need.

Example: A student is looking for the number of murders in Denver for the last 10 years.

  • Who has it? Who cares about it? The FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, or The Denver Police Department are all good places to start.
  • Using site:gov and searching for Denver crime statistics, I find the Colorado Bureau of Investigations "Crime Report" page. It was the first page in my search.
  • By exploring the page I find that I can find each "agencies" report linked by the CBI.
  • I click "Denver" for each year and have my data.

Where to look

Quick Start: Like all Government Information finding the statistic you want will very depending on who collected the data and what kind of data you want. Again Google is going to be good place to start, but make sure you add statistics as a search term.

The Web Search just Government websites


Finding Government Data & Statistics

  • Government agencies gather numbers.
  • Numbers get turned into statistics.
  • Statistics answer the questions “how much” or “how many”.
  • Find the agency and you find the statistics..
  • When all else fails, ask for help!