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Politics: Data and Statistics: Home

Statistical Indexes & Databases

About this guide

Sources of statistical information are held throughout the Michigan State University Libraries. This guide is not comprehensive; rather, it provides information on a selection of some of the most important general sources. This guide includes both freely available WWW resources as well as library subscription resources and print materials.

If you need further assistance you have several options to get in touch with MSU librarians: use the Ask A Librarian service, visit the Main Library Reference Desk, contact the guide maintainer, Hailey Mooney, Data Services Librarian, or political science subject specialist librarian Jon Harrison.

General and Comprehensive Resources

  • Almanac of American Politics. Includes state profiles with statistics on population, economy, and presidential votes. Some ranking charts such as congressional districts by population criteria and presidential election results. Some campaign finance data.
  • International Political Science Abstracts. Use this index to search the secondary literature to identify research studies and data sets.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States provides an authoritative and comprehensive summary of U.S. statistics.
  • ProQuest statistical abstract of the U.SPublication privatized after 2012.
  • Vital Statistics on American Politics 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.

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.

  • Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive
    The Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive (CNTS) is 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.
  • Policy Agendas Project
    "The Policy Agendas Project is 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."
  • 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.


Subject Guide

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