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Statistical Materials in the Legal Information Center   Tags: government information, statistics  

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2014 URL: http://guides.law.ufl.edu/statistics Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Commonly Used Statistical Resources

Cover Art
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2013 - Bernan/ProQuest (Formerly: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census)
Call Number: HA202 .A35
ISBN: 159888591X
Published annually since 1878. The Statistical Abstract of the United States is the best-known statistical reference publication in the country, and perhaps, the world. As a carefully selected collection of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States, it is a snapshot of America and its people. Thousands of tables from hundreds of sources and valuable, detailed bibliographic documentation. Updated introductory sections and back-of-the-book index.

Electronic version available to UF Students, Faculty & Staff only or those on the UF campus.

Florida Statistical Abstract - Bureau of Economic and Business Research, College of Business Administration, University of Florida
Call Number: HA311 .F55
ISBN: 00716022
Publication Date: 2009
Print to 2009

Most of data in Florida Statistical Abstract freely available at http://www.bebr.ufl.edu/

Book of the States
Mixture of statistics and articles.
"The 2013 volume includes 150 in-depth tables, charts and figures illustrating how state government operates. It also includes 32 articles from state leaders, innovative thinkers, noted scholars and CSG’s in-house policy experts that analyze and report on the transformations taking place in state government. Staff members mined more than 500 sources to obtain the information shared in The Book of the States." Archives back to 1935.

Data.gov
"Data.gov provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov."

MyFlorida Statistical Page
Official Florida Government statistics webpage

ProQuest Statistical Insight
"ProQuest Statistical Insight provides abstracting, indexing, and full text for publications from hundreds of public domain and licensed sources"

Need help with this resource? http://proquest.libguides.com/statistical_insight

Statista
The Statistics Portal for Market Data, Market Research & Survey Data.

Only available to UF Students, Faculty & Students, and those on the UF campus.

USA.gov Data & Statistics
Statistics for:
General Government
Business and Economics
Defense and International Relations
Environment, Energy, and Agriculture
Family, Home, and Community
Geospatial Data
Health and Nutrition
Jobs and Education
Public Safety and Law
Science and Technology
Travel, Transportation, and Recreation

 

Why Do I Need Statistics?

Why do lawyers (or law students) need statistics? There are a variety of uses for statistics, such as advertisements, background information, argument enhancement, and seminar papers, but it all boils down to the fact that you have an idea or a statement that you want to support with numbers.  This can be as simple as the population of the United States or as complex as the number of people sentenced to death in Florida between 1969 and 1973, but who were never executed.

No matter what statement or concept you are trying to support, you are likely to find some kind of statistical dataset to help you on your way.

 

Steps for Locating Statistics

  1. Ask yourself what information you are looking for.
    • Try to write out a broad statement of what you are looking for, and then refine it with more details.
    • E.g. Broad: Murders in Florida
    • Narrower: Murders in Florida from 2007 - 2009
    • Be aware that statistics often take a while to compile, so you may not be able to locate information for the most recent year or two.
  2. Try to guess who might publish this kind of information
    • What entities might have a need for this information besides you?
    • Government entities and industry associaitions are two big publishers of statistics.  
    • E.g. Murders in Florida would be of interest to the criminal legal system, so courts or the Department of Corrections might be likely publishers
  3. Check to see if there are any statistical compilations owned by the library that might cover your issue. If there is no compilation, try using a statistics database, such as ProQuest Statistical Insight  (note: most databases allow access by using IP authentication.  This is not a problem if you are on-campus, but if you are off-campus, you will need to use the Remote Access procedures).
    • Statistical compilations bring together a lot of related information.  They are usually broad in topic, though, so don't expect to find too many compilations that are specific to narrow issues.
    • The easiest way to check this is to search the UF Library Catalog - http://uf.catalog.fcla.edu/
      • Many compilations have the words "Statistical Abstract" in the title
      • You can also always narrow your search using the Subject Genre "Statistics" on the left side of the screen after you run a search.
    • E.g. Statistical Abstract of the United States, Call No.: HA202 .A35 (Reference); and Florida Statistical Abstract, Call No.: HA311 .F55 (Reference)
  4. If you still have not found your statistics, try using a search engine to locate one of the publishers that you thought of in step 2, and see if they have a statistics page.
    • E.g., For Florida murder statistics, try Googling Floirda court statistics.  The first result is to the Florida Court System webpage, which lists a statistics page as one of the links.  If you follow through, you can specify what statistics you are looking for and it will create a custom table.
  5. If you still cannot locate your statistics, do not despair!  Contact a reference librarian for help!
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