Consider the questions listed below, then browse the recommendations on this page. Remember, you can always ask a librarian for help.
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.
Are you looking at people, places, or things? A population demographic (ethnicity, age, occupation, etc.)? Geographical area (states, counties, cities)? Units of currency? Remember to define your topic with enough flexibility to adapt to available information.
This approach is credited to the MSU Libraries How to Find Data and Statistics guide. Thank you!
Below are top recommendations for North Carolina education statistics:
To find more statistics related to education in North Carolina, try the following strategies:
Scale up: Federal agencies collect data from across the country, and often break down statistics by state. From these overviews, you can then pull out statistics pertaining to North Carolina. For example, the National Center for Education Statistics has a report on high school graduation rates, broken down by state.
Scale down: Check the websites of related school districts for their annual reports. These reports often share district overviews and budget information. The same is often true of colleges and university systems.
Below are top recommendations for North Carolina health-related statistics:
A source may be available for the public, but you still need to cite where it came from. The North Carolina Center for Health Statistics provides some guidelines for what pieces to include in a citation when you use their information:
For a Table
For your Bibliography, Works Cited, or References page, include this information, as appropriate:
Below are additional recommendations for finding statistics on North Carolina industries, businesses, and consumers:
Below are reputable finding aids for historical statistics and data related to North Carolina:
To find more historical data, consider the following strategies:
Find the annual reports for relevant agencies and organizations online (see the Quick Tip at the top of this page); older reports are often listed.
Try searching for publications that have analyzed the kind of historical data you’re looking for. For example, a library catalog search for “North Carolina” AND immigration data produces books, ebooks, and articles that may list sources for historical statistics in their reference lists, and likely refer to useful statistics directly in the text. Note that ebooks are searchable by keyword.
Quick Tip: Locating Statistics Producers Online
When looking for the agencies or organizations who may collect relevant data, try this Google search tip:
Isolate the main keyword or phrase for your topic, and pair it with '.gov', as this will (ideally) prioritize government websites in your results. The same can be done for .org, though keep in mind that any website can purchase a .org domain, while .gov is a protected domain for government agencies.
Example search string: Learning Disabilities, .gov
To narrow by location: Learning Disabilities, North Carolina, .gov