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*Political Science Subject Guide: Statistics & Data

Finding Statistics

Consider the questions below, then try out the top resource recommendations listed on this page. Remember, you can always ask a librarian for help.

Defining the When and the What

What do I need to know about my topic before I start looking for statistics?

Define the 'When' and the 'What' before looking for statistics:

When:  Are you looking for information about a single point in time?  Do you want to look at changes over time?  Do you need historical information?  Current information?

Be prepared that the most current statistics may actually be a year or more old. There can be multiple year lags before some information is released, depending on how often the information is collected, the time it takes to process and crunch numbers, and the public release schedule.

What: Are you looking at a geographical area (nations, states, counties, cities)? A population demographic(defined by nationality, ethnicity, age, employment, etc.)? Units of currency? Remember to define your topic with enough flexibility to adapt to available information.

 

The strategies in this section are credited to the MSU Libraries How to Find Data & Statistics guide

Top 5 Recommendations for Political Science