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Michigan State University

Political Science / Public Policy Resources: Statistics and Data

Proquest Statistical Insight

Need to find statistics that might be hiding in a publication?

ProQuest Statistical Insight. 1973-present. Provides abstracting, indexing, and full text for publications from hundreds of public domain and licensed sources. Institutions can subscribe to the entire collection or to selected modules.

Federal statistical publications. 5,000 titles/year. Coverage from 1973; full text from 2004.

State government and business statistical reports. 2,200 titles/year. Coverage from 1980; full text from 2007.

International statistical publications from the UN, OECD, EU, etc. 2,500 titles/year. Coverage from 1980. Full text from 2007.

Hundreds of thousands of statistical tables selected from the three publication modules. Tables are individually indexed to ensure precise search and retrieval. Coverage from 1999.

Proquest LibGuide on using Statistical Insight

Previous name Statistical Universe


Need some quick stats?

Statista: Market Data, Market Research and Survey Results

Access the most relevant and important statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources.

Policy Map

Policy Map.  An online data and mapping application that gives access to over 15,000 indicators related to housing, crime, mortgages, health, jobs, demographics and education. Data are available at all common geographies (address, block group, census tract, zip code, county, city, state, MSA) as well as unique geographies like school districts and political boundaries. Data come from both public and proprietary sources. Many of the public files are available for download. Through PolicyMap, you can access all data in interactive maps, tables, charts, reports and through a unique analytic tool. You may also upload your own address level data and share your data and interactive maps with others.

Connect to the Quick Start Tutorial.

Simply Map

Simply Map.  A web-based mapping application that lets users quickly create professional-quality thematic maps and reports using powerful demographic, business, and marketing data.

**It is necessary to create a personal account to access this resource.**

Consult the SimplyMap Basic Guide for information on how to use this resource.

An overview of variables included in SimplyMap:

  • Demographic Variables: Population, Age, Race, Income, Ancestry, Marital Status, Housing, Employment, Transportation, Families, and more.
  • Historical census data: including 1980, 1990 & 2000, plus current year census estimates and 5 year projections.
  • Business Variables: Detailed Consumer Expenditure, Business & Employee Counts by Industry (by NAICS Code), Consumer Price Index, Quality of Life & Consumer Profiles, and Market Segments.
  • Business point data: Locations of individual businesses from Dunn & Bradstreet

Social Explorer

Social Explorer.  A dynamic database that allows you to create statistical tables and maps of selected U.S. Census data and religion survey statistics.

The following datasets are available:

  • Decennial Census: 1790-2010.
    • 1790 to 1930: County, state and national data.
    • 1940-2010: Census tract, county, state and national data.
  • American Community Survey: 1, 3, and 5 year estimates from 2005-current. This dataset replaced the Decennial Census long-form (detailed variables) after the year 2000 Census.
  • Religious Congregations and Membership Study: 1980-current
  • Religion InfoGroup data: 2009-current


Need easy to manipulate statistical information over time?

Note:  Our subscription to Data Planet expired in July 2015.

Provides easy access to statistical data. Sources include: Bombay Stock Exchange, British Bankers' Association, Chicago Board Options, Exchange, China Data Center, D&B (Dun & Bradstreet), Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections, Defense Manpower Data Center, Deutsche Börse Group, Dow Jones, Easy Analytic Software Inc. (EASI), Eurostat, FTSE Group, HSI Services Limited (Hong Kong), International Monetary Fund, London Bullion Market Association , London Platinum & Palladium Market, NASDAQ OMX Group, National Bureau of Economic Research, Nikkei, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Standard & Poor's, World Bank, World Resource Institute, Xignite, and many US Federal agencies.

General Statistics Sources

American FactFinder. The primary tool for finding statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, including statistics from the American Community Survey, American Housing Survey, Annual Surveys of Governments, Census of Governments, Annual Economic Surveys, Decennial Census, Economic Census, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation, and the Population Estimates Program.

CIA World Fact Book. Latest edition of annual survey, with profiles of all countries and territories from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

CQ Voting and Elections Collection : Integrates a wealth of data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical material to provide a powerful research and reference tool on the American voter, major and minor political parties, campaigns and elections, and historical and modern races for Congress, the presidency, and governorships.   Note: also check Elections tab.

FedStats which has been available to the public since 1997, provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capablilties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more, FedStats is your one location for access to the full breadth of Federal statistical information.

Historical Statistics of the U.S .(via Cambridge University Press).  An online reference book with dynamic statistical tables. As the name implies, it has broad coverage of statistics on all aspects of the United States that provide historical time-series statistics at the nation level. Tables are downloadable in Excel or .csv formats. Custom tables may be created by merging columns from multiple tables. This book is especially valuable for the informative essays that detail the scope and modes of data collection for the different subject areas. This information can be used as a guide to searching for additional statistics and for understanding what data are likely to be available or not.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.  Numbers, factors, and trends shaping your world.

ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States (2013- ). Authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States. This database replaces the previously-free Census Bureau publication (which are available online). It uses many of the same, along with additional, data sources as the earlier editions.  A unique statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on US states. We have compiled information from various primary sources such as the US Census Bureau, the FBI, and the National Center for Educational Statistics. More than just a mere collection of various data, StateMaster goes beyond the numbers to provide you with visualization technology like pie charts, maps, graphs and scatterplots. We also have thousands of map and flag images, state profiles, and correlations.  We have stats on everything from toothless residents to percentage of carpoolers. Our database is increasing all the time, so be sure to check back with us regularly.  If you are interested in data on an international scale, be sure to check out NationMaster, our sister site and the world's largest central database for comparing countries.

States Perform.  Provides users with access to interactive, customizable and up-to-date comparative performance measurement data for 50 states in six key areas: fiscal and economic, public safety and justice, energy and environment, transportation, health and human services, and education.  Courtesy of the Council of State Governments.

Vital Statistics on American Politics via Sage Knowledge offers a rich resource of data on the full spectrum of American politics. It is designed to help the reader interpret and comprehend statistical material. Included are more than 200 tables and charts plus information on elections, legislative term limits, approval ratings of Congress and the president, and the national debt. In addition, you will find statistical data on PACs, public opinion and voting, media, social policy, economic policy, and foreign and military policy.

International Statistics

UNData.  "A World of Data." Single search interface for data produced and collected by various United Nations (UN) organizations.

Vizala.   An online database that is completely free and open.  ICombines economics, market research, demographic, and societal data from many different sources and organizes the data for specific areas of interest.  Vizala also provides tools that allow you to customize any view of data with filtering and sorting options. You can then save, share, or export any of those customized views.

World Development Indicators. Macroeconomic, social, and environmental data from the World Bank.

Data Archives

Data archives contain raw data files that are used for secondary analysis in research.  Data set files are usually downloaded and manipulated using statistical software such as SPSS or SAS.  Sometimes data archives will provide tools for online analysis as well.

American National Election Studies (ANES).  "Produces high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists who want to better understand the theoretical and empirical foundations of national election outcomes."  ANES is a collaboration of Stanford University and the University of Michigan, with funding by the National Science Foundation.

Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive. A longitudinal set of 194 variables with data for over 200 county units for the period 1815-2008 (excluding the two modern wartime periods, 1914-1918 and 1940-1945). The CNTS data was originally published by Arthur S. Banks at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968 and was based on data from the Statesman's Yearbook. Variables cover economic, political, population and demographic variables. Emphasis is on political regime and systems data.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Contains data on election returns and electoral behavior for the United States and some foreign countries. Note : A Saundra Schneider and Christopher Maxwell are the Michigan State University contacts for these data sets.  See.

ISA Compendium Project Dataset Page.  Includes essays of special relevance to data issues related to international studies and international relations, as well as actual datasets sorted by topic..

Policy Agendas Project. An ambitious attempt to provide truly comparable measures of policy changes in the United States since the Second World War. Systematic policy comparisons across time have often eluded students of public policy because of the absence of a valid and reliable set of categories of policy activity. The Policy Agendas Project is a reliable tool for tracking policy changes in the United States, analogous to the National Income Accounts used by economists to track the state of the economy."

Quality of Government Data Link.  The aim of the QoG Datasets is to promote cross-national comparative research on quality of government output and its correlates. To accomplish this the QoG Institute provides five freely available datasets, three of which are available in both Time Series and Cross Section. The flagship is our award winning QoG Standard Dataset, it consists of approximately 2500 variables from more than 100 data sources ( from 1946 to present time). To make it easier to navigate the QoG Institute provide QoG Basic Dataset which contains the most qualitative variables from the Standard Dataset, it consists of approximately 300 variables from 75 different data sources. Codebooks are available for every dataset, where user can find a description of all data sources and variables. There are a list of the variables categorized into eighteen thematic topics. Detailed descriptions of all variables are sorted by original data sources. The QoG OECD covers countries who are members of the OECD. The dataset is further distinguished due to its high data coverage in terms geography and time. In addition to these datasets the QoG Institute offers the QoG EU Regional Dataset. The dataset concerns corruption on regional level within the EU and the data is based on a survey of 34,000 respondents. The QoG Expert Survey is a dataset based on our survey of experts on public administration around the world, available in an individual dataset and an aggregated dataset covering 159 countries and is based on a web survey of 1294 experts. The Data Visualization Tool is an addition to the QoG data pages. It is a tool that allows you to display the data from the QoG Basic Dataset on a world map and in scatterplots. The Extras section includes reading recommendations and has a special section for Stata users, which among other things contains details on the QoG-Stata commands.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is one of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are represented.

Transparency International. Measures corruption worldwide using tools such as the Corruption Perception Index, the Bribe Payers Index, and the Global Corruption Barometer.

General Data Finding Tools (Free)

Feeling ambitious?  Check out these free data finding guides.    Access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. A registry of research data repositories

ICPSR Data Archive. The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. World's largest archive of social science datasets. Election data, opinion polls, more. Special collections on Health, Education, Aging, Crime, Substance Abuse. Raw data; no tables.  MSU belongs to ICPSR.  Contact Hailey Mooney for information about accessing datasets.

Infochimps. A place for people to find, share and sell formatted data. Both users and Infochimps employees scrape, parse and format data so that it's easily accessible to you. We take the chimp work out of working with data so you can literally start building cool stuff in minutes.

IQSS Dataverse (Harvard University Library). Access the world's largest collection of social science research datasets by searching across or browsing through one of the virtual data archives (called "dataverses"). Data is uploaded by researchers from around the world.

The MacroDataGuide. The MacroDataGuide is a tool that has been especially developed by the Norwegian Social Science Data Services to save researchers and students time and energy in their search for high quality social science macro data. While the main distinction is most often drawn between micro and macro data, the term 'meso data' is also sometimes used. Meso data generally refers to data on collective and cooperative actors such as commercial companies, organizations or political parties.

Population Reference Bureau DataFinder. A database with hundreds of variables for the US and the world.

Zanran. A UK search engine for data & statistics - graphs, charts and tables." Like Google for numeric data.

Jon Harrison

Michigan State University