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The what and why of statistics
Statistics can help provide concrete examples of a larger trend, give the basis for an important chart or graph, or make theoretical arguments tangible.
There are two main branches of statistics:
- Descriptive--concerns the numerical or quantitative data alone, and can help draw conclusions about a sample, rather than a population.
- Inferential--concerns the conclusions drawn about an entire population which are infered through the results of a random sampling of a population
Be aware of bias in statistics! Numbers can be manipulated, and charts and graphs can be arranged to give a certain impression. Always double-check your facts!
Business and Economics
Business and Economics
If you're looking for statistics in the fields of business and economics, these are some great places to start.
- EIU Country Intelligence
Provides in-depth statistical analysis of political and economic trends in 195 countries world-wide. Reports include country profiles, risk ratings, licensing and trade information as well as G-8 and regional forecasts.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Includes statistics on employment, prices and living conditions (e.g the Consumer Price Index), productivity, and more.
- Hoovers Online
Provides detailed company information - key numbers, people, stock information, performance ratings, etc. - and also allows you to compare with industry-wide trends. Information is updated daily.
Lexis-Nexis also contains detailed company information including financial statements as well as many news sources.
- International Monetary Fund: International Financial Statistics
A database for both international and domestic financial statistics. Includes tables for over 200 countries world-wide as well as current data on international exchange rates, interest rates, inflation, deflation, international banking, government accounts, etc.
- U.S. Bureau of Transportation
Monitors trade, traffic data for automobiles, airlines, etc., travel, and more.
- World Development Indicators
Provides statistics on international economic development through the World Bank.
Economy at a Glance
Regional and state employment and wages from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) promotes a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner.
Budget of the United States Government
Issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year.
The Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.
American Consumer Satisfaction Index
The Index measures the satisfaction of U.S. household consumers with the quality of products and services offered by both foreign and domestic firms with significant share in U.S. markets. Explore by industry, company, and satisfaction indicators.
US Census Economic Indicators
Provides timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.
This page is meant to be a comprehensive site of free, easily available economic time series data useful for economic research, in particular economic forecasting.
National Bureau of Economic Research
List of economic statistical databases by subject.
Foreign Trade Statistics
U.S. Census data on foreign imports and exports.