Skip to main content

Statistics, Demographics, & Data Sets

Oh, my!

What Is a Data Set and Why Do I Need One?

A data set is a grouping of data on a particular topic.  Many academics gather their own, especially in the sciences.  On occasion, however, it is more useful to analyze the data already gathered and provide new insights into a topic. 

Data sets which have been gathered and curated by someone else have a couple of advantages: they've been gone over several times and the errors are likely to be reduced, they're likely to have been gathered in a consistent and competent manner, and they're likely to be available electronically.

From Data Sets by Laura Trude, University of North Dakota Libraries 

Data Sets Sources








  • "The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government."
  • Search by tag, format, community, organization, etc.


  • Databib is a tool for helping people identify and locate online repositories of research data.
  • Covers a wide range of topics
  • Hosted by Purdue Libraries and developed under a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Federal Researve Economic Data (FRED) 

  • FRED is an online database consisting of more than 156,000 economic data time series from 61 national, international, public, and private sources.
  • FRED, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data. 

United Nations Data 

  • International data, metadata, glossary, API, and more

The University of Texas at Austin, Sociology Department
Sociological Data Online 



Pikes Peak Community College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning