Picking the best of anything can be difficult. It’s quite challenging when the subject is as vast and fast-changing as regional data sites on the Web. Our list of the ten best sites is based on a combination of the highest vote-getters in our data user survey and our own experience.
- Bureau of the Census
The Census Bureau site will lead you to the full range of popular and obscure Census data series. The site has a comprehensive A-to-Z listing of data subjects, as well as American FactFinder and CenStats, query-based means for accessing data for your area from a variety of Census series.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a wealth of information available through its Web site. BLS jobs, wages, unemployment, occupation, and prices data series are available through a much improved query-based system. Also see Economy at a Glance for an integrated set of BLS data for states and metro areas.
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) makes its Gross State Product, Regional Economic Information System (REIS), and foreign direct investment data available on its Web site. You can also use this site to access BEA’s national income account data and its publication of record, the Survey of Current Business.
The FedStats web site, maintained by the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, provides clickable maps to obtain state and local data profiles drawn from multiple federal statistical agencies, with links to the original data sources. It also offers links to the web sites of over 70 federal statistical agencies. If you want to get a quick overview of what federal agencies provide what kinds of data, come here.
- Geospatial and Statistical Data Center, University of Virginia
The University of Virginia’s Geospatial and Statistical Data Center provides a query-based system for obtaining a wide variety of federal data by state and area, including REIS, County Business Patterns, and historical Census Data.
- Geography Network, ESRI
Through the Geography Network, you can access a wide range of geographic content, including live maps, downloadable data, and more advanced services, from hundreds of providers around the U.S. and the globe.
- Regional Economic Conditions, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
The Regional Economic Conditions site produced by the FDIC is high value added. Not only does it provide access to employment, income, housing, and real estate data for states, counties and metropolitan area, it offerstools to build maps, tables, and charts.
- State of the Cities Data Systems, Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD’s Office of Policy Development & Research has worked with federal statistical agencies to produce special data runs on a number of economic performance indicators for metro areas, including demographics, employment, and crime. The unique aspect of this site is that data are disaggregated by central cities and suburbs.
Economagic.com gives you easy access to more than 100,000 data series including state, metro and county employment data compiled by federal statistical agencies. The site will create spreadsheet files of data on-line as well as graphing data in your internet browser. Registered users can generate forecasts from historical data.
- State Economic Data Sources, Association of University Business and Economic Researchers
The Association of University Business and Economic Researchers is one of those organizations we suggest everybody get to know. Your local AUBER member is often an insightful observer and invaluable resource on your regional economy. Every state has its own experts and specialized data collections. The fastest way to find them is AUBER’s state-by-state directory of resources.