Data Sources from the United States Federal Government - dummies

Data Sources from the United States Federal Government

By Meta S. Brown

The U.S. government includes over 100 statistical agencies, agencies with a primary purpose of collecting and analyzing data for some government use. The result is a vast resource of professionally collected, managed, and analyzed data, much of which is available to you.

  • Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. It’s the BEA’s job to “promote a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner.”

    BEA gathers economic data, conducts research and analysis, and makes the results available to the public. It provides information on matters such as economic growth, relationships among industries, and the nation’s position in the world economy. It produces information on a national, international, and regional basis, and also for specific industries.

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is part of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice. BJS collects, analyzes, and shares information on crime, criminals, and victims, as well as the operation of the justice system. It also provides technical and financial assistance to state governments to develop their criminal justice statistics, criminal history records, and information systems.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. BLS is responsible for measuring and tracking the labor market, price changes, and working conditions. It collects, analyzes, and shares information on these and related matters.

  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). RITA has four agencies that deal with matters of transportation issues pertaining to safety, intermodalism, cost-effective regulation, compliance, training, and research.

  • Census Bureau. The United States Census Bureau is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. If you use, or are even aware of, any government data, it’s probably data from the Census Bureau.

    This is the agency that reports on how many Americans exist, who we are, and where and how we live. It tells us about the number and health of businesses. It tells us what’s being built and what’s being made in the United States.

  • Economic Research Service. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). ERS “communicates research results and socioeconomic indicators via briefings, analyses for policymakers and their staffs, market analysis updates, and major reports.”

  • Energy Information Administration. The Energy Information Administration is a part of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). EIA’s job is to collect, analyze, and share “independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.”

  • Environmental Protection Agency. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency whose job is to protect human health and the environment. EPA provides data on environmental pollution. EPA’s Envirofacts online database is a central starting point for EPA data.

  • Office of Research, Analysis and Statistics. The Office of Research, Analysis and Statistics (RAS) is a part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The job of the RAS is to provide “leading research, analytical, and technology services” to support the IRS.

  • National Agricultural Statistics Service. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NASS’s job is to provide “timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.”

  • National Center for Education Statistics. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is a part of the United States Department of Education (ED). NCES collects, analyzes, and shares data about education in the United States and around the world.

  • National Center for Health Statistics. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NCHS’s job is to “provide statistical information that will guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people.”

  • National Science Foundation, Science Resources Statistics. The National Science Foundation is charged with promoting the progress of science, advancing the national health, prosperity, and welfare, and securing national defense.

  • Office of Management and Budget. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. OMB shares the current and historical information about the budget of the U.S. government and fact sheets on government and social issues.

  • Office of Retirement and Disability Policy. The Office of Retirement and Disability Policy is a part of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Research and policy analysis for SSA is done by three parts of ORDP: the Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support; the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics; and the Office of Retirement Policy.