Data are essential for informed decision making. The following resources make productive searches for numbers simpler.
While mega-resources like American FactFinder and the Bureau of Economic Analysis are listed, the emphasis is on websites that provide quick and easy retrieval of numerical data needed for analysis, especially at the regional, county, and local levels.
Resources are categorized according to broad research topics. Two categories, Community Assessment and Quality of Life, are intended to help users combine multiple social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Each resource includes a brief description of what a visitor can expect to find. In most cases, however, neither category nor description can capture all that a site has to offer.
Visitors are encouraged to explore various sites. GTC makes every effort to recommend links that are accurate, up-to-date and relevant, but cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.
American FactFinder - American FactFinder is the U.S. Census Bureaus gateway to its decennial census, American Community Survey, Population Estimates Program, Economic Census, Housing Survey, and Annual Economic Surveys. Its a massive database that allows users to search by topic, geography, population group, industry, and year. Data can also be mapped. Tutorials provide step-by-step instruction for navigating the site.
American FactFinder Community Facts - Enter a state, county, city, town, or zip code and retrieve frequently requested demographic, housing, economic, and social data based primarily on the current five-year American Community Survey and the decennial census.
Fast Facts for Congress - These profiles are similar to the American FactFinder Community Facts except they are by congressional district.
American Community Survey Statistical Calculator - The American Community Surveys data include margins of error for individual values. Sometimes, however, we must manipulate two or more values to get the information we need. To make sure our research is sound, we should then recalculate the margin of error. Cornell Universitys Program on Applied Demographics developed this online calculator to make it easy for anyone to calculate margins of error for sums, differences, products, percentages, and ratios.
Regional Population Forecasts - The Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council estimates the population of every municipality in the region to 2050.
County Population and School District Enrollment Projections - The Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics projects county populations to 2040 and school district populations to 2020. County populations are projected by age and sex.
Historical U.S. Census Data (1790 to 2010) - Convenient access to historical population, housing, and agricultural data from 1790 to 2010. Most of the older historical data is available at the state and county levels, and more recent data at lower levels.
Bureau of Economic Analysis - The Bureau of Economic Analysis collects and reports a wide range of economic data at the international, national, state, MSA, and county levels. The BEA site contains data on GDP, including detailed national income and product accounts, as well as personal income and outlays.
BearFacts (BEA) - BearFacts is a quick-access product of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It provides a snapshot of personal income at the state, MSA, and county levels. The major components of county or MSA personal income are placed in a state and national perspective, and similar historical data are easy to obtain.
County, Zip Code, and Regional Business Patterns - The U.S. Department of Commerce provides detailed annual information on the number of business establishments, number of employees, and quarterly and annual payroll by county, zip code, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area. Data are available by NAICS code (depending on the size of the population).
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) - The New York State Department of Labor presents quarterly accounts of employment and wages reported by employers in the state from 2000 to the most current information. Data are available by county, metro and micropolitan area, and local workforce investment area.
OnTheMap: Local Workforce Profiles - Part of the Census Bureaus Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program, OnTheMap is a powerful mapping and reporting application that provides data on age, earnings, industry distributions, race, ethnicity, educational attainment, job category, and gender. It shows where workers are employed and where they live. Statistics and maps are downloadable at the metro area, county, place, zip code, and workforce investment area levels. A separate application on the same site deals with emergency management.
Location Quotient Calculator - The Bureau of Labor Statistics Location Quotient Calculator finds location quotients at the county level. Annual data allow analysis of changes over time. In smaller counties, some data may be suppressed to protect privacy.
Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Data - The Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Data site provides convenient access to detailed employment, income, wage, and earnings data at the metropolitan, micropolitan, and county levels.
Inflation Calculator - The Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator adjusts a given amount of money for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index over a specified time.
Personal Financial Calculators - The federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission developed MyMoney.gov as the U.S. governments financial education web site. The site includes links to several financial calculators, including a credit card repayment calculator, tax withholding calculator, debt payoff calculator, life expectancy calculator, compound interest calculator, and more.
Census of Agriculture (USDA) - The Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years, provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms and the people who operate them. Data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture, including specific crops and livestock, number and size of farms, and information about farm owners/operators including race, ethnicity, and gender, are available by state, county, congressional district, and zip code.
State and County Agriculture Profiles - If you dont have time or reason to search the entire Census of Agriculture, these easy to access profiles provide a snapshot of the most requested current data from the Census for every state, county, congressional district, and zip code in the U.S. Data from past Censuses of Agriculture are also retrievable.
USDA State/County Fact Sheets - These fact sheets from the USDA Economic Research Service provide recent demographic data and current information on farming and the economics of farming, as well as socioeconomic data. Much of the data are from the not-yet-released 2012 Census of Agriculture. County-level data are limited.
Rural Classifications (What is Rural?) - The U.S. Census essentially says that anything that is not urban is rural. In reality, rural is a multi-faceted concept. This resource from the USDA Economic Research Service provides tools for assessing social and economic diversity in nonmetropolitan counties.
USDA Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America - The Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America compiles about 90 socioeconomic indicators in six broad categories: people; jobs; agriculture; income; veterans; and county classifications. Data can be viewed by state, county, or part of county, as well as downloaded in a spreadsheet.
Local Foodshed Mapping Tool - A product of Cornell University, this interactive map displays the food production potential of a population center, or foodshed, including production zones within a foodshed. Foodshed analysis is a way to explore the capacity of agricultural land in New York State to meet the food needs of the state's population centers.
Kids Count Data Center - A service of the Ann E. Casey Foundation, the Kids Count Data Center provides access to data on child wellness, including demographics, economic well being, family structure, and child health and safety. Data can be obtained at the state and county levels and for some municipalities and school districts.
New York State Report Cards - The New York State Education Department provides enrollment, demographic, attendance, suspension, dropout, teacher, assessment, accountability, graduation rate, post-graduate plan, and fiscal data for public and charter schools and for school districts.
Envirofacts - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Envirofacts website provides access to several EPA databases of environmental activities that may affect air, water, and land. Search by county, municipality, zip code, or street address to find such information as contaminated sites, facilities with air and water pollution permits, and facilities that are permitted to use toxic or radioactive substances or where leaks of toxic substances have occurred. Reports on these facilities can be accessed and maps generated.
EJView - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's EJView is a tool for creating maps that show environmental justice issues, including demographics, health, permitted facilities, and air quality. Search by county, municipality, zip code, or street address.
Community Health Indicators - The New York State Health Department provides easy access to 250 health indicators for 15 health topics, including various diseases, injuries, and obesity, for every county, with comparisons to state averages and other counties.
STATS America - A portal developed by Indiana University and the U.S. Department of Commerce, STATSAmerica allows easy access to a wide variety of data from such sources as the Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data profiles on population, housing, income and labor are provided at the state, metro, and county levels. Measure and compare innovation capacity at the county and metro levels. Measure distress by metro, county, or census tract.
FedStats - FedStats is perhaps the most comprehensive set of links to federal data resources, affording access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the federal government. Information sources are listed by topicsuch as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, transportation, energy use, farm production, etcso you dont have to know in advance which federal agency generates which particular statistic.
USA MapStats Profiles - MapStats is part of the FedStats website. MapStats Profiles include basic demographic, housing, and business data, which can be mapped by county, city, and congressional district, and which include good descriptions of the data and how they were derived.
Headwaters EPSHDT Print-Ready County Reports - Headwater Economics provides free, detailed, county level data in 40+ page reports. Headwater Economics uses published statistics from federal data sources, including the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, and others. In each report, the importance of data is explained and trends are noted, as is the performance of a county against national averages. Data sources are listed, and further references are suggested. Data can also be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet (see below).
Headwaters EPSHDT Socio-Economic Profiles - Provides fourteen different data profiles ranging from general socioeconomic data to timber resources to federal spending. You can compare the selected state or county data to that of other states and counties. There is a simple, one-time download of a software program that runs in Excel.
Community Economic Development (CED) HotReport - The CED HotReport, a collaborative effort of the Census, Employment and Training Administration, and Economic Development Administration, includes important economic indicators for individual counties. The indicators are tailored to economic development decision making and cover topics pertaining to industry and economics, demographics, educational attainment, housing, commuting, and more.
U.S. Cluster Mapping - The U.S. Cluster Mapping website is a product of Michael Porters Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce. It provides visual analysis of the economic geography of U.S. regions, including Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, with a focus on industrial clusters.
Community Economic Toolbox - A resource for examining local economies at the county level, produced by MIT. It provides a snapshot of important local economic indicators with national comparisons; trend analysis; location quotients to identify local strengths; and shift-share analysis to identify local growth engines.
Daytime Population - This site tracks the number of people who are present in an area during normal business hours, including workers (daytime population), as opposed to the resident population which is present primarily during the evening and nighttime hours. For all places with either a population of 2500 or more, or 2500 or more workers. ProximityOne, a private firm, makes huge amounts of public socioeconomic data available in accessible formats down to the local government, school district, and block group levels (http://proximityone.com/about.htm).
City-Data.com - A commercial site offering data and reports for most cities and towns in the U.S., including crime stats, local real estate market info, and information on pollution levels. An interactive map displays the data down to the census tract level. Unfortunately, specific data sources are not included.
Map New York - This map-based information system visualizes data from the Census and state and federal agency reports at the county, city, town, and tract levels. Categories include demographics, economics, education, disability status, and housing.
Walk Score - Walk Score measures the walkability of a municipality, neighborhood, or particular address that the user enters. Walkability is defined as proximity to stores, schools, restaurants, movie theaters, and other amenities. The more amenities within convenient walking distance, the higher the walk score.
Quality of Life
American Human Development Index - Developed by the American Human Development Project, the Human Development Index is a quality of life indicator based on three elements: health, knowledge, and standard of living. The three components are in turn derived from over 100 variables ranging from typical demographic data to public health measures to economic development data to detailed environmental data. All of the data can be downloaded at the state level and some at the county level. Indices for education and income allow counties to be compared.
Economic Security Databases - The Basic Economic Security Table Index and the Elder Index measure the incomes workers and retired seniors need to achieve economic security by state or county and by family type. Registration is required.
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index - The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index provides information on the health and well being of Americans at the national, state, MSA, and congressional district levels. The Index is derived from an annual national survey and is comprised of six categories: life evaluation, physical health, emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, and basic access.
Religious Affiliation - A product of Social Explorer, this resource has very detailed data on religious congregations and church members at the county and public use microdata area levels. Provides data on over 200 major religious traditions and family groups.