This guide is designed to help students and researchers find historical statistics sources.
- Historical Statistics of the United States
Compendium of U.S. statistics from over 1,000 sources with over 37,000 data series. This electronic database is fully cross-referenced and indexed, with advanced search options.
You can save your search criteria, bookmark tables or essays, and download tables in Excel or CSV. You can also create your own tables by merging columns from multiple tables and then download, print, or graph the resulting custom tables. Annual data is typical, although some data sets are available by month, quarter, or decade. Coverage is usually for the country as a whole.
- Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1895-1976
A comprehensive index to information published by the U.S. federal government. This details over 1 million publications between 1895 and 1976, across a variety of subjects. This is a great resource to see what types of reports or data sets are available in a given time period.
- Statistical Insight
Statistical data published by U.S. federal and state governments, U.S. private organizations, and international intergovernmental organizations is indexed, abstracted, and presented. Search by topic or browse featured topics. Much of the included statistics are current, but some data sets date from 1780.
- Datapedia of the United States: American History in Numbers
Contains selected historical statistics of the United States from 1789 to 2003, as well as demographic and other select data projections through 2050. Coverage includes the labor market, social welfare, and national defense.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
Published since 1878, this resource provides statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Search the abstract by subject, time period, or geographic area. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other Federal agencies and private organizations.
Access to social science data files from U.S. government and national and international reporting agencies. Most data are current, but some data sets include historic statistics. ICPSR account registration is required for most data file downloads. Using data files requires statistical software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, Stata).
ICPSR YouTube channel offers how-to webinars and tutorials: http://www.youtube.com/user/ICPSRWeb
For more information on ICPSR, see:
- ICPSR Help
- ICPSR Research Guide
Information about using ICPSR.
The following U.S. Census websites are great historical statistical resources:
Not finding what you want? Call, email, chat with or visit a UK Reference Librarian who will be glad to help you.
Recommend a book you'd like to see added to the Libraries' collections.
W.T. Young Library
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0456
(859) 218-1840Send Email
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970
Call Number: C 3.134/2:H 62/970
Young Library – Reference (2nd floor) and U.S. Government Publications (5th floor); 2 volumes
Chapters are preceded by essays that introduce the quantitative history of their subject, provide a guide to the sources, and offer advice on the reliability of the data and the limits that might be placed on their interpretation.
Many of the data series are complimented by statistical abstracts. Annual data is typical, although some data sets are available by month, quarter, or decade. Coverage is usually for the country as a whole.
Datapedia of the United States, 1790-2005
Call Number: HA202 .K87 2001
Fine Arts Library
A factbook containing data on several hundred indicators of social, economic, political, and cultural developments in United States history. Graphs and other aids summarize significant historical patterns or crucial shifts in key subject areas. Data series cover United States history from 1790 to 2003 and include select data projections through 2050.
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Call Number: C3.134:
Young Library – Reference (2nd floor) & U.S. Government Publications (5th floor)
Published since 1878, this resource provides statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Search the abstract by subject, time period, or geographic area.
Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other Federal agencies and private organizations.
Historical Statistics of the States of the United States: Two Centuries of the Census, 1790-1990
Call Number: HA214.D63 1993
Young Library Reference (2nd floor) and U.S. Government Publications (5th floor)
This volume is a census-focused compilation of state-level population, agriculture, and manufacturing data for the fifty states and the District of Columbia. It also includes population figures for the largest cities from 1790 to 1990. In addition to the statistical tables, the volume includes a glossary explaining the different definitions used by the Census Bureau.
The Statistical History of the United States
Call Number: HA202.B87 1976
Young Library - Reference
Compendium of U.S. statistics arranged by subject. Although data from the last 100 years are more prevalent, some data sets date to the early 19th century.