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Data Sources & Statistics

Social science data, primarily useful in the context of economics, sociology, public health, climate change, or natural disasters.



Statista is a service that aggregates data sets from over 18,000 public and proprietary sources. The service provides tools that allow you to create beautiful charts that can be downloaded as PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, or graphics formats. Statista sources cover business and industry as well as education, politics and social issues.

Data & Statistics - What's the Difference?

Statistics, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, is the science of collecting, analyzing, presenting, and interpreting data. This would make data the raw material for statistics. First you collect a bunch of numbers (data), then you make a statement about it, e.g. calculating a percentage (statistics). But we do use these terms interchangeably. Here are some "stats" about MCC students:

Student Stats

  • MCC serves over 15,000 students a year. = data
  • Spring 2016: 6,484 students (credit only); 3,606 (full-time equivalent). = data
  • Average age: 25; 53 percent women; 36 percent full time. = statistics
  • Approximately 43 percent of the credit students are from under-represented racial and ethnic groups. = stats

Numbers are important and can be powerful when making statements, decisions, or trying to win arguments. Graphs are a common form of data presentations and look good in a slide presentation on a topic with opposing viewpoints, as well as in a persuasive essay or research paper. This guide is a collection of data sources and includes citation help.

Chart. Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment

Attribution -  In the process of assembling this guide I used the following source of information, cited here in MLA format:

Bauder, Julia. The Reference Guide to Data Sources. 2014. Print.