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Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America (Eonomic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture)

The U.S Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service has released the Atlas of Rural and Small-town America, an online mapping application. The Atlas allows users to map over 60 socioeconomic indicators at the county level. The indicators in the Atlas fit into four broad categories:

  • People--Demographic data from the American Community Survey, including age, race and ethnicity, migration and immigration, education, household size and family composition
  • Jobs--Economic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources, including information on employment trends, unemployment, industrial composition, and household income
  • Agriculture--Indicators from the latest Census of Agriculture, including number and size of farms, operator characteristics, off-farm income, and government payments
  • County classifications--the rural-urban continuum, economic dependence, persistent poverty, population loss, and other ERS county codes

The data in the Atlas may be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet.

China Dimensions (CIESIN/SEDAC)
The China Data Management Team of SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center) at CIESIN developed a large collection of data on China up to the first half of the 1990s, to be used in consort with GIS systems, such as: County-Level Data on Population and Agriculture, 1990: Keyed to 1:1M GIS Map. County-Level Data on Provincial Economic Yearbooks, 1990-91: Keyed to 1:1M GIS Map. Agricultural Statistics of the People's Republic of China, 1949-94.

FAOSTAT (United Nations. Food and Agricultural Organization)
"FAOSTAT provides access to over 3 million time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture. FAOSTAT contains data for 200 countries and more than 200 primary products and inputs, just in its core." The FAOSTAT system was overhauled in 2006, with new features released gradually over the course of the year. The updated site relies on a core database which both integrates and serves as a gateway to complementary thematic databases.

Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS) (U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service)
The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS; formerly the US Trade Internet System) includes international agricultural, fish, forest and textile products trade statistics dating from the inception of the Harmonized coding system in 1989 to present. It includeds national and state level data in monthly, quarterly, annual, and two year frequencies. A menu-based query system allows users to create custom tables, which can be exported in Excel.

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). IFPEI data is available from IFPEIdataverse. It 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.

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA))

According to the NASS web site, the National Agricultural Statistics Service"conducts hundreds of surveys every year and prepares reports covering virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture. Production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers are only a few examples." Data is compiled at the national, state and county level. The highest-profile NASS survey is the Census of Agriculture, conducted every 5 years.

A Quick-Stats table generator allows online data queries; geo-spatial data, charts, maps and reports are also available.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Statistics (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)
This site provides a portal to free socio-economic statistics collected by the OECD. UW-Madison also subscribes to OECD iLibrary, OECD's premier fee-based product.

Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1791-1845 (EDINA)
The EDINA National Datacentre includes the Statistical Accounts of Scotland dataset. These data, collected by parish ministers in the 1790s and the 1830s, provide a rich record of topics such as: wealth, class and poverty; climate, agriculture, fishing and wildlife; population, schools, and the moral health of the people. A free login is required.

The China County-Level Data on Population (Census) and Agriculture, Keyed to 1:1M GIS Map, v1 (1985-1990) (CIESIN)
From the site: "The China County-Level Data on Population (Census) and Agriculture, Keyed to 1:1M GIS Map contains 1990 census and agricultural economic variables at the county level for the People's Republic of China, 1990. Also included are geocoded China county boundary GIS data at 1:1M for 1990. The tabular data are available in dBase IV and ARC/INFO export formats."

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Highlights from the USDA site include:

UNdata (United Nations)
The United Nations is undertaking to bring together many of its various statistical databases under a single interface, at UNdata. UNdata carries 34 databases containing over 60 million records, covering a range of topics including population, industry, energy, trade and national accounts. The databases are accessible either by keyword searching from a single search page, or through a menu of databases. UNdata replaces the UN Common Database, which was discontinued after the December 2007 edition. However, the trade information in Undata does not replace UN COMTRADE, which continues to cover a deeper and more fully-featured set of merchandise statistics.

USDA Economics, Statistics and Market Information System (ESMIS) (Cornell University, Mann Library)
According to their site, the USDA Economics, Statistics and Market Information System (ESMIS) "contains nearly 2500 reports and datasets. These materials cover U.S. and international agriculture and related topics. Available titles include both current and historical data. Many of the current titles are available via email subscription." E-mail subscription is a free service. Most reports are text files that contain time-sensitive information, including text-based tables. Most datasets are in spreadsheet format and include time-series data.

USDA NIFA's Current Research Information System (CRIS) (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA))
The Current Research Information System (CRIS) provides documentation and reporting for ongoing agricultural, food science, human nutrition, and forestry research, education and extension activities for the United States Department of Agriculture, with a focus on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant programs. Click on CRIS Assisted Search to locate NIFA-administered grants.

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