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HDFS 461: Program Development & Proposal Writing

Help finding statistical resources and journal literature focused on HDFS 461 assignment

Things To Consider When Seeking Statistics

It is easy to find statistics; harder to find relevant statistics. Here are some suggestions to help you:

Define your parameters. You need to decide several things about your subject before you start to search. This can help you figure out where and how to search.

  • Geography: about where the group you are researching live, or work, or go to school, or some other aspect of location. Is a study done in Peru relevant to Oregon? Or in a city relevant to a rural area?
  • Time frame: when was the data collected? Is it still relevant if it is 10 years old? Is a study done over the course of years equal to a "snapshot" study?
  • Population: who is in the study group? If your topic is about middle-schoolers, are statistics about college freshmen relevant? How about studies conducted among rural Hispanics, when you are interested in inner-city African-Americans?

Ask yourself, Who cares? Think about what groups, charities, government agencies and so on are interested in your subject, and look for their websites and publications to see if they've collected statistics you need.

Statistics Resources: Library Databases

OSU Libraries has several statistical databases to help you find information to document in your thesis.


Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (ProQuest)

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Online it is 1400+ individually indexed tables with attached spreadsheets.  Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. 

Statistics Resources: Online

3D pie graphGeneral Statistics Resources

American FactFinder (US Census Bureau) - Population, housing, economic and geographic data, 2000 to present. Create your own data tables to export!

FedStats  - This invaluable tool will help you identify what federal agencies gather statistics on your topic.

GSS: General Social Survey   -  From the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), funded by the National Science Foundation. A standard "core" of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions. Data back to 1972!


ChildTrends DataBank - the latest national trends and research on over 80 key indicators of child and youth well-being, with new indicators added each month. Provided by Child Trends, a national leader in the field for over 20 years.


Kids Count Data Center - from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Easy to navigate data on disadvantaged children from a wide variety of sources, public and private. Includes data from international down to local. Forum on Child and Family Statistics


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)


CDC Data and Statistics

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Seniors/Aging  - Federal interagency forum on aging-related statistics.

CDC Data and Statistics - Healthy Aging

AARP Research, Surveys and Statistics


United Nations Women Watch – Statistics and In_dexes - This link includes access to reports, databases and archives relating to gender equality and Women’s human rights.

Woman Stats Project - A comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women throughout the world. Create a login to use their database.

Oregon/Regional Data

Data for Local Communities  statistical, spatial, and descriptive information about the cities, counties and other civil, economic and natural regions of Oregon and Washington.

Oregon Data (  -  Oregon's open data portal

Oregon Explorer

Oregon Explorer provides a web-based natural resources digital library  by integrating data from state and federal agencies, local governments, university scientists, and citizens. A collaboration between Oregon State University Libraries and the Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon Explorer helps inform decisions and actions affecting Oregon's natural environment.

Some of the modules can also be very useful for researchers in the social sciences. You can easily access community data in the Rural Communities Explorer. It contains the Oregon Communities Reporter, a unique resource for community practitioners linking the 723 places and 36 counties in Oregon to data gathered at the place, census tract, and county levels by various agencies and institutions. Using the Oregon Communities Reporter you can get a sense of the makeup of the communities in Oregon with statistics compiled by faculty from Oregon State University's Rural Studies Program.