Finding statistics during the government shut-down…


photo credit: flickr user Nick Papakyriazis

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

We’re aware of a number of assignments that require students to gather statistics 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.

Here are a few suggestions for finding alternative sources:

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

2. Search for state government sites that contain federal data (,, or 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 incorporates statistics you seek.

5. Ask a librarian for help at the Reference desk or use Milne Library’s IM a Librarian service (one of the library’s Multidisciplinary Databases might be a good place to start).