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Cal-in-Sac Projects Resources: Statistical Sources

This guide provides students in the Cal-in-Sac program with research resources to prepare them for their fellowships.

Introduction

Getting Started

The resources listed below starting points for finding statistics and data. It is not a comprehensive list by any means. 

Please contact the IGS Library if you need assistance with any of these sources or finding specific summary statistics or data. 

A few definitions to be aware of:

"The terms data, datasets, and statistics are often used interchangeably but they do have distinct meanings.  Simply put, data refers to the raw numbers, text, etc. that are the inputs for statistical analysis; statistics are the results of the analysis, which have been aggregated or summarized in some way." (Bauder. (2014). The reference guide to data sources. American Library Association. p.9)

Also, see ICPSR's explanation on Understanding data vs. summary statistics.

Before you use any of the sources, take a moment to review the questions below and answer them based on your research topic.

Concept

Question or topic?

What is your paper topic, question of study?

Hypothesis?

What are you testing, trying to solve, prove, etc.?

Geography?

Cities, counties, regions, national, school district, etc.

Time period?

Current (2020), historical (1900 vs. 2010), over time, point in time, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.

Unit of analysis?

Who or what are you studying? Individuals, households, families, children, schools in a school district, unemployment rates, word frequency, etc.

Variables/data points?

What items will help you answer your question? Any specific characteristics, e.g. gender, age, ethnicity, immigrant status? Independent and dependent variables?

 

Statistical Abstracts

Statistical Databases

California Statistical Sources

  • California Statistical Abstract
    Compilation of data on social, economic, and physical aspects of the State. The contributor for each table is given at the bottom of the table and may be contacted for more details or an explanation of the data.
  • California Statistics LibGuide
    ​See this LibGuide for quick access to additional California statistical resources.
  • Data.gov's California Data
    Datasets in the U.S. data.gov that are tagged California. Can also be accessed through the California State Geoportal.
  • The Statewide Database is the Redistricting Database for the State of California. On this site, you will find voting, registration and geographic datasets for the State of California for statewide elections beginning in 1992.

Data - there are restrictions and requirements to access and use data from these sources. Talk with your Professor first!

Public Opinion

  • Berkeley IGS Poll formerly the Field Poll
    An independent, non-partisan, media-sponsored public opinion news service. Each year the poll covers a wide range of political and social topics examining California public opinion. Many available in hardcopy at the IGS Library. Poll reports 1993-2016 archived at Internet Archive. Raw data files are available from UC Data.
  • PPIC Statewide Surveys (Public Policy Institute of California)
    Launched in 1998 with the purpose of "providing independent, objective information on the social, economic, and political forces affecting California elections and public policy preferences."
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
    Contains domestic and international survey data. The Center's Public Opinion Location Library (iPOLL) gives online access to a database including poll questions asked in US from 1936 to present.