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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.

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.