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Competitive grant proposals often survive or perish based on the quality of data they use. In the American context, among reliable sources of demographic data for grants are the United States Bureau of the Census, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the United States Library of Congress.


General Demographics:

For most grant seekers, the United States Bureau of the Census’s Population Finder is the single best place to look for current demographic data in statistical profiles of states and places in the United States of America. For researchers who need more detail, the Bureau of the Census’s American Fact Finder delivers more detail on more topics. Among its products are: the Decennial Census (every 10 years); the yearly American Community Survey; the yearly Puerto Rico Community Survey; the Economic Census (every 5 years); the inter-census Population Estimates Program; and the annual Economic Surveys.


School Demographics:

The National Center for Education Statistics operates a School District Demographic System. The invaluable site provides access to extensive and searchable data and statistics about demographics, social characteristics, and economics of children and school districts.


Links to State Data Sources:

The United States Library of Congress maintains a Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, which is a large searchable database. Possibly more useful for grant seekers, it also presents links, sorted by states, to many state and county government websites and, thus, to their state-specific databases. Individual state, county, tribal, territorial, and city websites are also productive as points of access to current data and statistics.


This post is one in a series about sources of data for use in winning competitive grants. All links were current as of the date of posting.

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