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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Scholars Summer Program

Strategies for Finding Statistics

Before beginning a search, identify:

Timeline and Location

  • What time period are you interested in?
  • What geographic location are you interested in?
  • Statistics take time to collect and compile, so the most recently available data for a given topic may be older than you wish. 

Publishers and Producers

  • Who would have an interest in collecting this information?
  • Publishers of statistics include government agencies, private corporations, industries, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. 
  • If you can't identify a potential publisher of information, statistics on your topic may be difficult to find.  

Places to Find Statistics:

Government Agencies

Library Databases

  • ProQuest Statistical Insight is a general statistical database that allows users to search for national and international statistics directly without having to wade through text documents.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States is the standard source for quantitative facts on US history.
  • Statista provides access to statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries.
  • Select a relevant subject database from our Find Articles Guide, and search for your topic with the word "statistics".

Web Sources

  • Pew Research Center conducts nonpartisan public opinion polling on current issues. Use Pew to find statistical information on how the public feels about a given topic. 
  • The library's Statistics Guide provides links and information to find statistics on specific topics.
  • Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google. Remember to use specific keywords when searching, and evaluate every source you find for credibility.