Statistics are used to prove points, bolster arguments, support needs, justify an existence and much more. What we buy, where we work, what we do in our spare time, and our health all get translated into statistics that are studied by businesses, governments, and academicians. Statistics are a part of our everyday life yet they can be baffling to understand and difficult to find.
As you start your statistics research, ask yourself these questions:
The federal government does a census of businesses every five years. The Economic Census  gives the number of businesses, employment, and payroll figures broken down by industry type (NAICS) and by geography.
Agencies within the U.S. government that provide useful statistics include
All government agencies collect data related to their area of responsibility. Thus, statistics regarding education, health, labor, crime, food, housing, transportation and much more is made available. A place to start in your research for a bevy of statistics is FedStats . Current, as well as historical data, can be found in Statistical Abstract .
Although federal statistical sources provide some local data, there are additional sources to turn to. Mid-America Regional Council  (MARC), the local planning agency is a good starting place. MARC makes available a wealth of economic, demographic and transportation statistics on their website. For additional sources, take a look at our Local Business and Information Guide .
For additional information, contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org .