Politics, Policy and Government
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American Mosaic Project (Doug Hartmann and Penny Edgell)
The American Mosaic Project is a multi-year, multi-method study of the bases of solidarity and diversity in American life. The principal investigators of this project are Doug Hartmann, Penny Edgell and Joseph Gerteis at the University of Minnesota, and the project is funded by the Edelstein Family Foundation of Minneapolis, MN.
The survey was designed to gather data on diversity with a particular emphasis on race and religion. A nationally-representative telephone survey was conducted during the summer of 2003; additional in-depth interviews and fieldwork across the country, explored the various contexts in which Americans experience diversity, focusing on religious interfaith organizations, neighborhoods, and festivals. Key findings on Discrimination, Atheism, Anti-Semitism, Racial attitudes of Conservative Christians, Diversity, Racial Attitudes and Religion, and Racial Privilege are available as press releases at this site.
Arkansas Poll (Diane Divers Blair Center for the Study of Southern Politics and Society)
Results (HTML tables) and data (SAS or SPSS format) from this annual Arkansas public opinion poll are presented on this site.
Bureau of the Public Debt (U.S. Department of the Treasury)
U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasury bills and notes and bonds, and other public-debt-related resources are the subject of this site. Current and historical public debt statistics are updated daily.
Cattaneo Web archive of Italian election results and surveys (Fondazione di ricerca "Istituto Carlo Cattaneo"
Istituto Carlo Cattaneo)
The Cattaneo Web Archive of Italian Election Results and Surveys offers information regarding Italian Elections dating back to 1990 and going onwards to 1996. The site also includes Bologna Elections results and surveys from 1984 and 1994, Italian Election Abstention Surveys from 1985, 1990 and 1995 and Italian Election Results by Commune from 1946-1996. Data is presented via the SDA interface. Abstracts are available in Italian and English.
CensusScope (Social Science Data Analysis Network)
The Social Science Data Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan offers this point and click interface to Census 2000 data. Pre-selected topics for charts, maps, and trends let the user choose a state or metro area using drop-down menus. The graphics are eye-catching and suitable for printing.
CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, describes itself as"A non-partisan research center studying youth civic engagement and civic eduation." CIRCLE's research focuses on Americans between the ages of 15 and 25. The data section of their website carries several surveys for download or online analysis, including:
- The Civic and Political Health of the Nation survey (2002, 2004, & 2006)
- National Youth Survey, 2004
- YouthVote's June 2002 Survey of Young Americans (18-24)
The site also features factsheets, reports, and links to related sites.
Center for the Study of Democracy--Data (Center for Study of Democracy)
The Center for the Study of Democracy is dedicated to helping foster democracy in the United States and throughout the world. In the data archive portion of its site, users will find links to CSD-sponsored research projects other studies relating to human rights and various political issues. Links include World Value Surveys, The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, The UCI Election Turnout Database, the 1998 German Election Study, and the 1996 National Black Election Survey. See also the CSD Asia Data Archive at http://www.democracy.uci.edu/csd_vl_asia.
Child Trends Databank (www.childtrends.org)
The Child Trends Data Bank is a large site dedicated to providing information on a variety of issues affecting children in the U.S. The site is broken down into categories, including health, mental health, health-related behaviors, violence, drug and tobacco usage, and health care. There are various sub-categories available under the main categories. The site provides mainly statistics and tabulated data, but does offer links to raw data concerning most categories. There is also a keyword search.
Connecting Outcome Measures in Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Science (COMETS) (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and National Bureau of Economic Research)
COMETS is described as "an integrated database that can trace the links from government investment in R&D through the path of knowledge creation, its transmission and codification, and in many cases to commercial uses yielding a better standard of living and better jobs." Version 1.0 focuses on U.S. patents and grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes for Health. The public-use dataset can be downloaded in STATA or text/csv formats. Free registration required.
Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
Provides data covering federal expenditures or obligations for the following categories: grants, salaries and wages, procurement contracts, direct payments for individuals, other direct payments, direct loans, guaranteed or insured loans, and insurance. Data is available in summary tables and downloadable self-extracting zipped datafiles in plain ASCII format. Datafiles are available at the detail level (state, county, and place geographic levels), individual state, U.S., combined state, and county aggregate. An online query system is available for the years 1993-2001.
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) (Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics)
Since 1980, the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics has provided an open dialog between its members and the Federal statistical agencies. Member organizations include professional associations, businesses, research institutes, and others interested in Federal statistics. Their site includes links to other Federal and international statistical agencies and also provides access to their excellent newsletters.
Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (Carleton University, Paterson School of International Affairs)
The CIFP describes their project as "an on-going effort to identify and assemble statistical information conveying the key features of the economic, political, social and cultural environments of countries around the world." This project has resulted in a conflict risk assessment online database that includes measures of: domestic armed conflict, governance and political instability, militarization, religious and ethnic diversity, demographic stress, economic performance, human development, environmental stress, and international linkages.
The site also carries documents and background information for projects on Governance and Democratic Processes and on Failed & Fragile States.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (U.S. Department of State)
Includes reports from 1999 to the present. Part of a larger web site belonging to the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) which includes other reports on topics such as ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, religious freedom, child labor and more.
Cronkite-Eight Poll (Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication)
The Cronkite-Eight poll, formerly known as the KAET Poll, gauges the opinions of Arizonians on a number of state and national issues. Dating back to 1995, the polls are available in press release format.
Data.gov (U.S. Office of Management & Budget)
Launched in May 2009 by the U.S. Office of Management & Budget, Data.gov is an initiative of the Obama administration designed to "increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government." The interface features three searchable catalogs: a "raw data" catalog, a tool catalog, and a geodata catalog (by far the largest of the three). Searches can be done by category, agency, or keyword. The project is also working with state and local agencies to launch similar initiatives, providing links to such initiatives via a clickable map. Users may comment on or give a 1-to-5-star rating on entries in the Data.gov catalog, and may also make suggestions for additions to the site. An alternate place for discussion and recommendations for Data.gov is a wiki hosted by Wired, at http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Open_Up_Government_Data.
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) (U.S. State Department
Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago)
The DOSFAN Electronic Research Collection (ERC) carries an archive of historical documents from 1993 to 1997 from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The archives include country- and issue-specific information on sociopolitical situations, economic trends, democracy, human rights, culture, development assistance, environment, terrorism, and more. For current materials, see the U.S. Department of State web site.
Eagleton Poll Archive (Rutgers University)
"This interactive website provides access to the survey data and questionnaires from Eagleton's quarterly statewide polls of New Jersey residents on matters of political and social interest. On the site you can view Eagleton polls and question responses from 1971 to the present. You may search on keywords or browse through topics and questionnaires" Users may view polls in html format.
EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits (Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI))
The Employee Benefit Research Institute, a non-partisan not-for-profit organization, conducts and encourages research on employee benefits, and educates the public by providing data and analysis on employee benefits. One of the most heavily-used sections of the EBRI web site is the EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, a sixty-chapter document in PDF that presents tables and analysis on the retirement income system; employer-sponsored benefit plans; government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; health insurance; and labor force and demographic trends. Chapters are updated individually, thus no previous editions of the Databook are available.
European Social Survey (ESS) (European Commission and European Science Foundation)
The European Social Survey (ESS) is a new survey encompassing 19 European nations and focusing on public attitudes and values related to the ongoing change in social institutions. An initial round of data collection was completed in 2001, using a core questionnaire and two rotating modules. The microdata was released in August 2003 via the NESSTAR system at http://ess.nsd.uib.no/nesstarlight/index.jsp. Funding for a second round of data collection has also been obtained, with data release scheduled for 2005.
FAIRMODEL Economic Model (Yale University)
The FAIRMODEL economic model from Yale provides macroeconomic analysis for free. The site allows users to, "Work with a U.S. macroeconometric model (US model) or a multicountry econometric model (MC3 model) to forecast, do policy analysis, and examine historical episodes. Users can change government policy variables and examine the estimated effects of the changes, table and graph online and/or download all or part of the historical data, forecast data, and data you may have created, read online and/or download all the documentation, memos, and paper. Download for use on your own computer: the Fair-Parke (FP) program, the US model, the MC3 model, and the US model in EViews format. Users can also analyze a presidential vote equation, including examining Bush's chances in 2004, and perform stock market experiments."
Federal Computer Products Center (National Technical Information Service)
Established at NTIS to provide access to information in electronic formats. The current inventory of computer products includes more than 1,200 titles since 1990. These include datafiles and software on diskette, CD-ROM, and magnetic tape. Most of the Center's products are developed or sponsored by the federal government. However, NTIS does announce products developed by state governments and in a few cases by private sector organizations and distributed by NTIS.
Federal Election Commission (Federal Election Commission)
The FEC came onto the web scene in mid-February, 1996, and has been serving downloadable campaign finance data ever since. Both summary and detailed data are available for 1993-94 onward, by candidate, by PAC, or by Party Committee. Files are fixed-length and zipped, with "format" information accompanying each file. The anonymous FTP site is ftp://ftp.fec.gov .
Federal Procurement Data System (Federal Procurement Data Center)
The FPDS is the official statistical database on procurement contract transactions of the Executive Branch of the US Government. Around 70 Executive Branch agencies report their procurement contract obligations to the FPDS. The U.S. Postal Service, the Legislative Branch (Congress) and the Judicial Branch (U.S. Courts) do not report to the FPDS, nor do state and local governments. The FPDS contains approximately 50 data elements including agency identification, broad category of what was purchased, dollar obligation, principal place of performance, and contractor identification for approximately 500,000 transactions each year that exceed $25,000. The FPDS collects summary information for approximately 17,000,000 smaller transactions. A free registration is required to access the database online -- the database appears when a user logs in via the front page of the site.
Federal, State, and Local Governments (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
The Federal, State, and Local Governments page from the U.S. Census Bureau provides links to data, documentation and reports from the Census of Governments (conducted at 5-year intervals) and related surveys including the Annual Survey of Government Employment, Annual Survey of Government Finances, State and Local Government Employee-Retirement Survey, State Government Tax Collections, and Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue. Public education finance data is available as well, as school districts are among the local governments surveyed (in addition to county, municipal, township, and special district). The site also carries the Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) and the Federal Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS). Much of the data goes back to 1992, and is available as HTML, Excel or text files.
FedStats (Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy)
This site aims to provide access to the full range of statistics and information produced by more than 70 agencies in the United States Federal Government for public use. "Information can be searched through: an A to Z index with 275 categories, a keyword search capability that searches agency web sites linked to FEDSTATS, 'fast facts' linkage to frequently requested tables from the Statistical Abstract, as well as direct links to agency contacts, news releases, and other navigational and organizational aids."
Franklin & Marshall College Poll-Pennsylvania (The Center for Opinion Research and Franklin & Marshall College)
The Center for Opinion Research conducts the Franklin & Marshall College Poll (formerly the Keystone Poll) that relates to state and local affairs in Pennsylvania. Reports of poll results in PDF are available back to 1995.
Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics and Peace)
The Global Peace Index is a measure for ranking countries in order of their peacefulness. The index is made up of 23 indicators, covering both external measures such as weapons exports and number of conflicts fought, and internal measures such as jailed populations and numbers of homicides. The index has also been tested against additional determinants of peace such as levels of democracy, education, infant mortality, and income inequality. Data are compiled from many sources, including the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Bank, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
The index includes data from 2007 to 2010, for a growing list of countries. The primary access to the index is through an animated map of the world, displaying 2010 rankings by default. Downloads are in PDF only; a "GPI Results Report" for the displayed year appears to the right of the table beneath the map. To get earlier years, or to display animations across years, one must use the slider bar at the bottom of the map itself. Clicking on a country name or a country on the map will reveal a single year worth of data on all indicators for that country, including both indicators that are part of the index, and related indicators.
The site also recently launched the U.S. Peace Index, a comparison among U.S. states using a combination of 5 indicators: homicide rates, violent crimes, percentage of the population in jail, number of police officers and availability of small arms.
Global Terrorism Database (GTD) (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism and University of Maryland)
From the GTD web site: "The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2008 (with annual updates planned for the future). Unlike many other event databases, the GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes more than 87,000 cases."
Google Public Data Explorer (Google Labs)
Google Public Data Explorer is an online data visualization tool that allows users to explore publicly-available data within the site's collections, and design their own graphs and tables for display. Displays can be animated to show changes over time, and users can link or embed the visualizations in their own web pages. The initial collection includes selected data from the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and several statistical agencies in the United States. While the collection is growing, it is not comprehensive. The data itself cannot be downloaded directly from Google, but links are provided to the source websites.
Governments on the World Wide Web - Statistics (Gunnar Anzinger)
This list of links to statistical agencies worldwide includes the names of the countries in their own language, and official state/province statistical sites for regions of Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.
GPO Access (U.S. Government Printing Office)
Includes information about federal depository libraries and offers searches on contents of the Federal Register and Congressional Record since 1994, Budget of the US since 1997, Economic Report of the President since 1996, and other major government documents. Use the GPO Access Multi-Database Search to search within multiple documents simultaneously.
Green Book, 1996-2004 (Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives)
Entitlement programs within the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and other related materials. Published every two years, the Green Book is over 1000 pages long in paper form and contains many tables of longitudinal data on poverty, income, program participation, and taxation in a variety of public policy areas including social security, Medicaid and Medicare, welfare, child care, unemployment insurance, immigration, etc. The Green Book is available through the GPO Access web site, from the 1996 edition to 2004, with a search function by year. The 1994 edition (no search capability) is available on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services web site. Since 2004, the Green Book has not been issued as a separate publication.
HuffPost Pollster (Huffington Post and Mark Blumenthal)
Since 2004, Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal (aka Mystery Pollster) has been blogging about, as he put it, "demystifying the science and art of political polling." His Pollster.com website has moved to the left-wing Huffington Post site, still posting poll results and analysis under the new title HuffPost Pollster.
INFOMINE -- Government Information (University of California Riverside)
INFOMINE is a searchable guide to scholarly Internet resources at a university level. The government information section contains many data-related resources, including a number of federally-produced CD-ROMs in addition to the Internet resources.
Infonation (United Nations)
The United Nations' CyberSchoolBus program has created an online resource for simple but up-to-date country comparisons. There are two versions, the original and a new version at http://www.cyberschoolbus.un.org/infonation/info.asp. The original allows a seven-country comparison between four variables of the user's choice. The new version compares only five countries at a time, but generates bar graphs for all the available variables (which seem to be somewhat different between the two versions.) The "Country at a Glance" section of the site requires Flash 5 or above.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI))
IFPRI is a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. In support of its mission to provide policy solutions that cut hunger and malnutrition, IFPRI conducts research and secondary analysis in collaboration with other institutions. Many of the resulting datasets are freely available on the IFPRI web site (free registration/login required). Data listed on the IFPRI site includes:
- Geospatial data, such as CIESIN's Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP) in Africa and Asia
- Household and community-level surveys, from 16 countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and the Philippines
- Institution-level surveys regarding wheat in Egypt and soil nutrient management in Uganda
- Regional data from China
- Social accounting matrices for 27 countries.
Internet Center for Corruption Research (Transparency International and Goettingen University)
This center provides the Corruption Perception Index, which ranks countries by the extent of perceived corruption in public administration. Every country is provided with an individual score, allowing for cross-country comparisons. Annual reports begin in 1995; data is in HTML tables only from 1995-1999, and from 2000 on is also available in Excel spreadsheets.
Joint Center for Poverty Research (JCPR) (Northwestern University and University of Chicago)
JCPR supports academic research that examines what it means to be poor and live in America, concentrating on the causes and consequences of poverty in America and the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing poverty. The JCPR site includes information on publications, conferences, various resources, programs, and research events.
Journalists Killed Since 1992 (Committee to Protect Journalists)
The Journalists Killed Since 1992 database offers statistics on journalists worldwide imperiled in their work since 1992: imprisoned, missing, killed. The database may be queried by year, country, or type of peril. The site also includes a short summary of the events surrounding each journalist's death, disappearance or imprisonment. The database may be downloaded as an Excel file at http://cpj.org/killed/cpj-database.xls.
Kaiser Family Foundation (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent philanthropic organization that focuses on health care policy and education. Their site includes sections on Entertainment and Media, HIV/AIDS, Medicaid and Medicare, Reproductive and Sexual Health, and Women's Health Policy. Research reports incorporating charts and tables are also available.
Kansas Data (Institute for Policy & Social Research, University of Kansas and University of Kansas)
The Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas offers the Kansas Data site in support of public policy analysis. Preformatted county and city census data reports are provided as PDF documents, and users can also generate their own custom area profiles. Users can also design their own maps, trend graphs, and bar charts using the site. The Kansas Data site also offers the Kansas Statistical Abstract online edition, Kansas quarterly economic indicators, and links to other Kansas data resources.
Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) (Vanderbilt University)
The Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), directed by Mitchell Seligson, is hosted at Vanderbilt University. LAPOP began several decades ago with a study of democratic values in Costa Rica. LAPOP is now the home of the AmericasBarometer survey, measuring democratic values and behaviors in the Americas using national probability samples of voting-age adults and spanning 23 nations in 2008. In addition to reports and documentation, LAPOP data is available for online querying in both a beginner and an expert mode. Subscriptions to the data are also available (UW-Madison does not currently subscribe.)
Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
LISPOP is "a research center at Wilfrid Laurier University which studies issues pertaining to the creation, use and representation of public opinion in the policy process." The site includes a regular summary of published polls pertaining to Canadian politics, an annotated list of online poll data resources, and links to data holdings for Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Guelph.
LexisNexis Statistical Insight (UW-Madison subscription) (LexisNexis)
The UW-Madison subscription to Statistical Insight allows searching of a large collection of statistical publications from the federal government, private research firms, state governments, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), in some cases back to 1973. After a user creates an initial keyword search, a left-hand menu offers a list of ways to narrow the results: by publication date, source, additional subjects, and many more. Statistical Insight presents some documents in the form of detailed abstract only, but many others in full-text (PDF) and tables (image or Excel or both). Many links to full-text documents on government Web sites are included as well. Information and tables are frequently available in a variety of formats, such as GIF, XLS, and PDF. Up to 130,000 new tables are added yearly. Note: UW-Madison subscribes via IP-authentication. LexisNexis Statistical Insight carries over 1,000,000 searchable tables from within major statistical compilations and special studies issued by the federal government, private research firms, state governments, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). All tables (back to 1976) are available as images; all tables added since 2006 are also available in Excel.
Library of Congress Country Studies (Library of Congress)
A continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army. This series presently contains studies of 102 countries. Each handbook contains an appendix of HTML tables. Many of these handbooks have not been updated recently, but they are particularly strong in historical summaries.
Lijphart Elections Archive (University of California, San Diego)
The Lijphart Elections Archive, housed at the University of California, San Diego campus, is a static research collection of district level election results for approximately 350 national legislative elections in 26 countries up through 2003. The objective of the Archive is to systematically collect election statistics in as much detail as possible, including, as a minimum, the results at the level of the individual election districts in which votes are converted into seats. The Archive originally acquired print copies of the data and later moved into online data. The catalog of holdings details archive holdings of both print and online data as well as access to data when it can be freely disseminated. In addition the catalog links to other sources of online election data and information that can be found on the internet.
Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES) (Mannheim Center for European Social Research, Germany)
Founded as an institute of the University of Mannheim in 1989, the Center's research focuses on "cultural, societal and socio-economic bases of the living conditions of the inhabitants of European countries." The Research link leads to current projects, while the Research Archive link leads to their EUROSTAT data archive which includes online access to "The Cost of Social Security 1949-1993" and descriptions of other datasets available on CD-ROM. In German and English.
Migration Information Source (Migration Policy Institute (MPI))
The Migration Information Source, including the MPI Data Hub, provides immigration information for an expanding list of countries. An interactive database generates tables in HTML and Flash-based charts. Links are provided to sites which provided the raw data for many of the tables and graphs. The site also includes breaking news stories related to immigration and immigration policy.
Minorities at Risk (MAR) (Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland)
The Minorities at Risk project tracks 284 politically-active ethnic groups worldwide from 1945 to 2003. The project focuses on ethnopolitical groups that experience discriminatory treatment in relation to other groups in society, and that mobilize for political action on the basis of their identity and self-defined interests. The data section of the site includes both qualitative and quantitative elements. The qualitative area carries reports of risk assessments and analytic summaries for each of the groups in the project, as well as chronologies for each group that detail important events in the history of each group and their location. The variables in the quantitative data address such aspects as group characteristics, organization, discrimination, collective interests, and conflict behavior. The main MAR dataset can be downloaded either as an ASCII text file, or through a Windows software program called the Minorities At Risk Data Generation and Management Program (MARGene). The site also includes a Discrimination Dataset, available either in SPSS or Excel, that records overall levels of political and economic discrimination for all groups in the Minorities at Risk Project.
National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) (National Archive and University of London Computer Center (ULCC))
The National Digital Archive of Datasets provides online access to data and related documents from United Kingdom central government departments such as agriculture, education and health. Although data download is free, users make data requests via a shopping-cart software, and must then provide an e-mail address to receive the URL of a download page via e-mail message.
National Election Studies (NES) (University of Michigan)
NES conducts national surveys of the American electorate in presidential and midterm election years and carries out research and development work through pilot studies in odd-numbered years. The NES time-series goes back to 1948. All NES datasets are available for download at the website, free registration required.
National Gambling Impact Study Commission (National Gambling Impact Study Commission)
The NGISC was created by Congress in 1996 and charged "to conduct a comprehensive legal and factual study of the social and economic impacts of gambling on federal, state, local, and Native American tribal governments; and on communities and social institutions." This site contains the Commission's 1999 report and a link to the FTP site for NORC's Gambling Impact and Behavior Study dataset.
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) (National Technical Information Service)
This site has information on 2 million U.S. Government publications, and provides useful searchable text databases such as Federal Research in Progress Database and Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports. Try "NTIS Productsr" as a useful starting point.
NationMaster.com - World Statistics, Country Comparisons ()
This site was founded as an engine for comparing countries using the figures from the latest CIA World Factbook (no time-series data). Many additional sources have been added, so that statistics range from pesticide use to web-site defacements to Olympic gold medals. Results are displayed in an HTML table, with options for "correlations" (NationMaster chooses the indicators to correlate) or scatterplot images with country flags used as datapoints. In April 2006, a sister-site called StateMaster for U.S. States was launched. Both sites are useful for cursory comparisons and also for tracking an indicator back to its source; be aware that the encyclopedia to which NationMaster links is Wikipedia.
Office of Financial Management - State of Washington (State of Washington)
The Forecasting Division of the Office of Financial Management for the State of Washington "provides estimates of state and local population, monitors changes in the state economy and labor force, and conducts research on a variety of issues affecting the state budget and public policy." One highlight of the site is the Washington State Data Book, the state's statistical abstract. Washington only posts its most recent State Data Book (the 2005 edition was posted in January 2006) and recommends that its users follow up on the specific sources of the data to get the absolute latest figures. The State Data Book tables display in HTML but may be downloaded as PDF or Excel files. Also of interest on the OFM Forecasting Division site are a Criminal Justice Data Book and an Employer Health Insurance Data Book for the state of Washington. In addition, Washington conducts a biennial State Population Survey, with downloadable data posted on the site for 1998 through 2004.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (Office of Management and Budget)
Contains tables and text of FY 1996 to the present U.S. Budget and OMB circulars, as well as information on statistical programs and standards from the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Open Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections (Association of Public Data Users (APDU))
The Association of Public Data Users provides an up-to-date spreadsheet, linked from this page, of current statistical issues for public comment as announced in the notices of the Federal Register. Calls for comment are organized first by agency, then by closing date for comments. Each call for comment is linked to the Federal Register page, along with a contact person. A second page within the spreadsheet lists already-expired calls for comment.
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
"The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) is an independent nonprofit institution and think tank of policy analysis and academic research. PSR was founded with the goal of advancing scholarship and knowledge on immediate issues of concern to Palestinians in three areas: domestic politics and government, strategic analysis and foreign policy, and public opinion polls and survey research." Users can look at polls dating back to 1993 regarding Palestinian attitudes towards the conflict with Israel. Polls are available in HTML format.
Peace Science Society (Pennsylvania State University)
The Peace Science Society (International) is a scientific association of individuals developing theory and methods for the study of peace, located at Penn State University. The Society distributes selected data sets in ZIP format. Several of the available datasets pertain to the Correlates of War project at the University of Michigan.
Pennsylvania State Data Center (Pennsylvania State University)
For visitors looking for information on the state of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Data Center provides a clearinghouse of data related to the commonwealth. Included in the site are official data and demographic reports related to Pennsylvania as well as projection estimates and housing and economic characteristics of the state.
Pew Internet and American Life (Pew Research Center)
The Pew Internet and American Life Project conducts surveys regarding Americans' use of the Internet. Reports back to May of 2000 are available in PDF, some trend data is available for download in Excel, and selected datasets are available for download in SPSS (free registration required for download).
PolicyMap (The Reinvestment Fund)
PolicyMap is a geographic information system that lets users map, graph, and organize data relevant to neighborhood planning and economic revitalization. The site carries data on demographics, real-estate, crime, income, education, and jobs - over 4,000 indicators. Depending on the data, maps and reports can be focused on areas as small as block groups or census tracts, or as large as states.
The site has many components available with a free registration, and others available to subscribers only. The free data comes from such agencies as the Census, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and other US government agencies. Fee-based, subscriber-only data comes mostly from Claritas, a consumer-data and demographics firm that produces projections and annual small-area estimates. Subscribers can also upload data and create custom mapping regions. (UW-Madison does not subscribe).
The oldest data is from the 2000 Census, while the most current is the 2008 Presidential Contributions by state and ZIP code. A complete list of PolicyMap data can be found at http://www.policymap.com/our-data.html.
Political Constraint Index (Prof. Witold Heinsz and The Wharton School)
This site offers a dataset, in Access and Excel format, calculating a Political Constraint Index (POLCON) as a measure of political/economic risk associated with a country. A January 2006 release updates the data through 2004. Free registration required.
Politics Resources: Data Archives (Richard Kimber)
Briefly annotated links to data archives and polling organizations, from a British perspective.
Polling The Nations: The Ultimate Survey Database (UW-Madison Subscription) (ORS Publishing)
"Polling The Nations: The Ultimate Survey Database" offers users the chance to sort through various polls using strict search criteria. Users may search by topic, question asked in the poll, "universe" (i.e., geographic locality indicated on the poll), date, source, and "results" (i.e., categories such as women, Blacks, Hispanics, etc.) An extensive list of topics is provided for using controlled vocabulary within the searches. Note: UW-Madison subscribes to this resource via IP authentication. Non-UW-Madison users may visit the Polling the Nations site at http://poll.orspub.com/.
The Polling Report from Washington, D.C. has selected results of national opinion polls in politics and public policy. Data come from major research organizations, such as Gallup, Harris, Yankelovich, and Princeton Survey Research. Each topic displays the source and date, universe, number of respondents, question, and frequencies of responses. Additional state-by-state campaign polls and articles are available by subscription only.
Poly-Cy: Internet Resources for Political Science (West Virginia University)
"This site is intended to provide a set of links useful for navigating the World Wide Web in the areas of Political Science, International Affairs, Public Policy, and Public Affairs. It is updated frequently, generally at least once a week, and is still in the early stages of development." Resources are divided into three categories (The Profession; Subfields, Substantive Areas and Policy Issues; and Governmental Resources) and subdivided into subject areas including Data Resources.
Public Agenda On-Line (Public Agenda)
Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research and citizen education organization based in New York City. It provides poll results to politicians as well as interested citizens on a variety of topics. The site also contains internal links which offer overviews on many pertinent issues in American politics.
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (Quinnipiac University)
The Quinnipiac University Poll regularly surveys residents in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and nationwide about political races, state and national elections, and issues of public concern, such as schools, taxes, transportation, municipal services, and the environment. Press releases and poll results, some as far back as 1997, are available on the site; the blue box on the left of the screen provides links to polls by state.
RAND (short for Research And Development) is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to improving policy and decision-making through research and analysis. The RAND home page includes general information, research areas, technical capabilities, and publications. RAND's public use databases are listed at http://www.rand.org/about/tools.html and include:
- Family Life Surveys (Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh)
- Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey
- Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey
- RAND Center for the Study of Aging Contextual Data Library
- Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics microdata documentation
- RAND Health and Retirement Study Data Files
Representation in America's Legislatures (Gerald Wright, Indiana University)
The Representation in America's Legislatures project, funded by the National Science Foundation, collects and processes roll-call vote data from the state and national legislative chambers in the United States. Currently (May 2005) the site carries data for the 1999-2000 session, though the data is not complete for all states. The download for each chamber, when complete, contains the data in CSV and Stata formats, a text Readme file of chamber-specific information, and a text bill-summary file that serves as a codebook for the data files. Future plans for the site include roll-call data for 2003-04, plus historical roll-call data.
Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD) (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR))
The Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD) is one of a growing number of special-purpose subsets within the vast data collections of the ICPSR. The focus of the RCMD is data for comparative analysis of issues affecting racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. The subject coverage of the selected studies runs the gamut from education to housing to poverty to political participation. RCMD data falls into two general categories: studies that focus specifically on minority populations, such as the National Black Election Studies series; and studies with large enough sample sizes or ethnic/racial oversampling to permit meaningful analysis of issues that affect race and ethnic minority populations, such as the American Housing Survey series. While documentation is freely browsable, data download is available only to ICPSR member institutions, including UW-Madison.
Society for Political Methodology (American Political Science Association)
The Political Methodology section of the American Political Science Association offers a hyperlink to the Political Methodology Working Papers, 1995 to the present. Authors submit papers to be downloaded, abstracts are readable on the web, and the full text of the paper may be read or downloaded in PDF.
State Government Tax Collections (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
The State Government Tax Collections Survey provides annual state-by-state data for state tax revenue from 1992 onward. The data are not to be interpreted as state area data (state & local government taxing efforts combined), but apply solely to state government tax revenues. In this survey the concept of "taxes" is comprised of all compulsory contributions exacted by a government for public purposes, except employer and employee assessments for retirement and social insurance purposes. Summary tables are available in HTML, Excel, and text files.
State Politics and Policy Quarterly - Data Resource (State Politics and Policy Quarterly)
The SPPQ Data Resource compiles 50 variables from various sources, for the United States by state, covering the following areas: population and vital statistics; politics; education; crime; and business & economy. Most variables are annual figures, and some go back as far as 1975. Download the entire set or a single subject area, in Excel format. A codebook in Word is also available for download.
Statewide Database (California) (Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California Berkeley)
The Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley produces this database containing information related to the ethnic, political, and demographic makeup of California. Data is available in DBF, tab-delimited text, or fixed-field ASCII, while several formats of maps are available as well. Data is kept current and goes back to the 1990 general election.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
The SIPRI site reports on research conducted by the institute, concerning questions of international conflict and cooperation. The Databases section of the site includes international data on military expenditures, arms transfers, and arms production.
Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development (National Science Foundation (NSF))
This survey, conducted by the National Science Foundation, annually collects data on current funding levels and future obligations for research and development by U.S. federal agencies and their subdivisions. It provides a consistent time series on federal research and development (R&D) support broken down by character of work, type of performer, field of science and engineering, and geographic distribution. Reports and tables are available in spreadsheet or ASCII format (Excel table links are embedded within HTML reports).
Survey Research Data Archive-Academic Sinica (Taiwan) (Academic Sinica)
The Survey Research Data Archive stores and disseminates various surveys related to Taiwan for mainly academic purposes. Studies are included on a variety of issues relating to sociological trends in Taiwan. SRDA uses Nesstar for online data dissemination and analysis; of the SRDA datasets available via Nesstar, only one (the Taiwan Education Panel Study) is available in English. Most of the rest of the site is Chinese-only as well.
The Economic Report of the President (Executive Office)
The Executive Office of the United States provides an on-line copy of the Economic Report of the President. The report, available in PDF, offers a detailed analysis of the President's economic plan for the coming year. The site also includes links to previous economic reports dating back to 1995. Statistical tables are available in spreadsheet (.xls) format.
The Hotline from National Journal (UW-Madison Subscription) (National Journal)
The Hotline is the National Journal's "daily briefing on politics." Up-to-date material is provided on a number of pressing issues. The site is a virtual newspaper with a number of columns, almanacs, and reports on various election races throughout the country. Users may also view other parts of the site, including "Almanac of American Politics," "Technology Daily," "Congress Daily," and "Race Dashboard" (formerly known as "Poll Track"). Note: UW-Madison subscribes via IP authentication.
The Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) (Florida International University)
The Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) at Florida International University in Miami conducts polls of Florida residents on topics ranging from aging to transportation to local government. The web site reports on several polls regarding hurricanes and Cuba-related issues; questions and frequencies are provided.
The Pew Research Center for People and the Press (The Pew Research Center for People and the Press)
The Pew Research Center is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues, best known for regular national surveys that measure public attentiveness to major news stories, and for polling that charts trends in values and fundamental political and social attitudes. The web site contains downloadable survey data files (free registration required) back to 1997.
U.S. Tax Statistics (Internal Revenue Service)
A wealth of information about the financial composition of individuals, business taxpayers, tax exempt organizations and more. This data has been sampled from all kinds of returns and sorted in lots of interesting ways.
Uppsala Conflict Data Project (Uppsala University, Department of Peace & Conflict Research)
From the UCDP website: "The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) collects information on a large number of aspects of armed violence since 1946. Since the 1970s, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) has recorded ongoing violent conflicts. This effort continues to the present day, now coupled with the collection of information on an ever broadening scope of aspects pertaining to organised violence, such as the resolution and dynamics of conflict." The site offers multiple datasets for free download as well as a menu-driven database covering the years 1975-2009. See also the Beginner's Guide to Conflict Data - Finding the Right Dataset (2005).
Uruguay, Banco de Datos (Universidad de la Republica)
The Data Bank of the Sociodemographic and Political Information Unit (UISDP) is a source of qualitative and quantitative information about Urugayan research in Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, Population, and International Relations areas. Sources for datasets are the faculty at the Universidad de la Republica and in Uruguayan private centers of research. The web page provides access to more than a hundred data banks at Latin American and world-wide statistical institutions. Most of the web site is in Spanish.
USAspending.gov (U.S. Office of Management and Budget)
"Government spending at your fingertips" is the promise of USAspending.gov 2.0, a recently-released update from the Office of Management and Budget. The site was originally launched in 2007 in the wake of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006. The Act required the creation of a free public website with detailed information on federal awards, including recipients, locations, amounts, and types of awards.
The USAspending.gov site provides several different ways to search and browse the data. Most obvious is a single search box on the home page, and home-page links to popular search requests such as "Gulf Oil Spill Contracts." An advanced-search page lets you specify search options such as fiscal year (back to 2000), agency, recipient location, performance location and more.
Site users can browse the data through Summaries or Trends. The Summaries section of the site provides overview information on federal spending by agency, recipient, or location. Each item of the summary can be clicked for more detailed information; for example, click a contractor name on the recipients page for an expanded summary of contracts. At every level, a "list view" option allows you to display the information as a table and then export it in CSV, tab-delimited or XML format. The Trends section allows users to explore spending over time, categorized by location, contracting agency, assistance type, federal program, and by type of spending.
One can also download data from the Data Feeds section of the site, either the raw data from the agencies or a user-defined data set. The datasets are sometimes large; the site cautions that the 2009 contracts data from the Department of Defense is around 2 gigabytes and will take a correspondingly long time to download.
Veteran Data & Information (U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs)
The Veteran Data & Information site includes demographic and socio-economic characteristics of U.S. veterans of military service, the geographical distribution of the veteran population, and other statistical data and information on U.S. Veterans Affairs programs. The Population section of the site includes a collection of Excel pivot-tables called VetPop2007, comprising the VA's latest official estimate and projection of the veteran population and their characteristics from 2000 to 2036.
Washington Post Opinion Polls Archive (Washington Post)
The Washington Post Opinion Polls Archive carries poll results back to 2006, primarily regarding electoral politics.
Wisconsin Blue Book (Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau)
Wisconsin's answer to the statistical abstract is the Blue Book, published by the Legislative Reference Bureau. The series began in 1853 and is currently published on a biennial basis. The statistical section of the Blue Book is just one chapter of 12, comprising about a quarter of the total. The Blue Book also includes biographies and photos of Wisconsin elected officials, the text of the Wisconsin state constitution, and in-depth description of Wisconsin governmental structure and function. Older editions back to 1995-1996 are available from the site as well. The online version is available solely in PDF, and print copies are distributed for free to Wisconsin libraries and schools, and for a low cost to individuals.
World Values Survey (World Values Study Group)
The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities all around the world. The survey is performed on nationally representative samples in almost 80 societies on all six inhabited continents. A total of four waves have been carried out since 1981. Data files are available for download (free registration required), including an integrated file of all four waves, a 1995 file, and a 2000 file, each available in SPSS SAV, SPSS POR, and STATA formats. The site also includes an online data analysis module, allowing users to select countries and samples for browsing data.
Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS): Database of Terrorist Incidents (National Counterterrorism Center)
From the WITS web site: "The Worldwide Incidents Tracking System is the National Counterterrorism Center's database of terrorist incidents. According to NCTC definition, terrorism occurs when groups or individuals acting on political motivation deliberately or recklessly attack civilians/non-combatants or their property and the attack does not fall into another special category of political violence, such as crime, rioting, or tribal violence."
The WITS database covers incidents beginning in January of 2004 up to about a year short of the present date, for a total of nearly 80,000 records as of December 2010. Query results ("reports") are presented in HTML tables and may be exported to Excel. The site also has mapping and charting functions.
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