“Figures often beguile me”

stats.jpg Keeping Mark Twain’s observation in mind(it may found in his Chapters from my Autobiography: Chapter 20), the 2007 edition of the invaluable County and City Data Book has just been published. Being a statistical compilation of demographic and socio-economic statistics gleaned mainly from Census Bureau publications, this work provides insights into the ever-shifting landscape that defines the American populace. It concentrates on counties and cities with populations of 25,000 or more. But fear not, other statistical works are readily available with one click of your mouse: the Statistical Abstract of the United States, a staple of every library’s ready reference collection, published since 1878; the landmark Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970; and the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book which, as its names implies, focuses on state and metro area statistics.  For a really interactive experience, please use the American Factfinder and find out how far you can drill down into the vast statistical universe that is the Census Bureau. Find out, for example, what languages are spoken in your community, what is the ethnic background of your town, etc. Other sources many be found both in the reference department of the Library as well as on the Library’s homepage under “selected web sites by subject-reference- statistics.” Let the enumerations begin!

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