Statistical Data Locators
Even before the invention of pen and paper, people have recorded and reported the facts and figures that make up statistical data. African griots can recall the number of floods in their region for the past 500 years. Benjamin Franklin, who published Poor Richard's Almanac, reported useful statistics like the total square mileage of the state of Pennsylvania.
If you anxiously await the publication of the latest edition of the World Almanac, you'll be thrilled with unparalleled treasure trove of statistics that you can easily find on the Internet. Since the web became available to the public, a mountain of data from government repositories, universities, and other sources can be accessed at a click of your mouse.
The United States Census Bureau has been counting people, animals, houses, bales of cotton, and everything else in the United States for hundreds of years. This makes it a one stop shopping experience that rivals the Mall of Minnesota. Don't stay at their site forever, though. The U.S. government's many agencies and departments, including the White House's website and the National Archives have special collections of statistical data that are sure to hold your interest for days at a time.
The Librarians' Internet Index is a good starting place when you need state and local statistics. Nation Master and the CIA's fact books provide statistical snapshots of every country in the world.
Dig deeper into worldwide statistics with data from the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They're not as old as the U.S. Census Bureau, but they have amassed world health, education, and economic data for the last 40 years. These sites also have links that take you to more government and academic statistics resources.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development