Finding statistics during the government shut-down…

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photo credit: flickr user Nick Papakyriazis

On October 1, 2013 The government shut down (again).

I’ve been working with students to two sociology classes who’s assignments were to gather statistics on a country or state assigned to them. Of course, a good deal of the statistics they need to gather come from government websites like the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, whose websites now post shutdown notices rather than providing access to the data usually available.

Frantic students in those classes are now looking for help finding alternative sources for the information they need.  Here are a few suggestions for students:

1. Try using government sites that appear unaffected (at least so far) by the shutdown (i.e. bjs.gov and bls.gov are both still accessible at the time of this posting).

2.  Search for state government sites that contain federal data (http://www.statelocalgov.net, http://www.globalcomputing.com/StatesContent.htm, or http://www.50states.com might be good places to start).

3. Try a Google search for the state and statistic for which you are looking (ie. GDP and California).  Look for state websites among the results.  If your professor will not allow you to use wikipedia, you may wish to see if wikipedia cites a source you CAN use.

4. Try finding an article (scholarly or news) that incorporate the statistics you seek.

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