A Valuable Online Resource: Statistical Abstracts of the United States

Did you know that Durham Tech students, faculty and staff can use Statistical Abstracts of the United States online? You might be familiar with the book version, which is published annually. Now, you can access the same information online via NC LIVE.Statistical Abstracts of the United States is presented as “the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political and economic conditions of the United States,” according to ProQuest, who maintains the database. Though Statistical Abstracts has been published for many years, Durham Tech affiliates can access the last three years of reports–in the form of tables–online.

You can get to the database by going to www.nclive.org and searching for “statistical abstracts.” The database will appear near the bottom left of your search results under “Databases by Title.” If you access this from off campus, you will need to authenticate with your WebAdvisor ID and login.

Have you ever wondered how many books are published, broken down by subject, in a given year? Or, which households in the U.S. tend to have more dogs or cats as pets (from 2011)?

You can browse the numerous tables by subject, or you can search for a topic if you already know what you’re looking for.

Once in awhile, you might run across a table that is available only in the print version of the Statistical Abstracts. For example, Table 197: Cancer-Estimated New Cases And Deaths By State: 2013. The good news is that Statistical Abstracts tells you where the information comes from, in this case from the American Cancer Society. You can go to the ACS page and find the information yourself.
So, if you haven’t already, take this database for a spin! Even if you don’t have a research question in mind, it can be enlightening to browse through the reports and learn something about the United States.

About Stephen Brooks

Stephen is a reference librarian at Durham Tech. He has blogged previously at acqweb.org and for American Libraries magazine online. He enjoys reading 20th and 21st century literature, biographies and books about sports.