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Remember, too, that statistics are often reproduced within articles--especially in research studies published by academic journals. These types of articles are searchable in many other databases to which Sawyer Library subscribes. It might be worth consulting any number of resources listed on our Sawyer Library Databases page.
This database is all about statistics. It is currently organized to provide Demographics, Mapping and U.S. Census Information. So click the most appropriate "Start Now" button. Change the summary display by entering a geographical place name or zip code in the upper left. Export the data by printing, emailing, or as a PDF document.
This research database is primarily designed to provide quick snapshots of various industries. However, it also provides information about all fifty of the United States, as well as the provinces of Canada. First click several buttons to enter. Then the easiest thing to do is to simply type Massachusetts in the search box. Although short, the frequently updated profile does provide some facts and figures of the populace, economy and industry sectors of the Bay State. At the very end of the text are a few external links to more data, too.
This online version of the "Millennial Edition" of a classic compendium of U.S. Statistics is the electronic equivalent of a five volume set--which Sawyer Library also owns--that provides U.S. statistics from colonial times to the near present. (End dates vary from table to table, but this resource is most useful for the deep historical data and is not the best source for current statistics.) HSUS covers topics like population, work and welfare, economic structure and performance, economic sectors, and governance and international relations. Want to find a table of "Population of Massachusetts, by age, sex, race, and ethnicity: 1764–1784"? You can find it here. And you can download tables in Excel or CSV (look for use and download options in the upper right of any table screen.) Sadly, searching the content of the online version can be frustrating, so keep in mind that for browsing, you might be better served by the print version.
Sometimes, local newspaper articles are an excellent source for data, presented within the context of reportage on various topics and issues. This database, from ProQuest, provide full-text coverage of Boston's major newspaper, The Boston Globe, back to 1980.
The BBJ is the Bay State's major business newspaper. For factoids about the private sector, the economy, and the like, it can be a very useful resource. Besides the facts and statistics provided within their news articles, the paper also sponsors an annual called the Book of Lists (BOL) that ranks and provides a point or two of key data on all manner of businesses and other subjects. We also have many years in paper for browsing. To access the online, click on the database link above and then click on the link to "View Book of Lists" to the mid-left.
This excellent (although not always easy to navigate) database suits its name. It provides a wide of array of data and consumer and market research reports--particularly from a global viewpoint. This will do a better job of telling you about European tastes in beer than it will in providing analysis New England and Massachusetts. That said, there actually is some regional data here. If I do a text Search (look for the red button in the upper left banner) for Massachusetts, I actually get "Consumer Expenditure by Region" data for anything from clothing to housing to leisure and recreation. Other data covers household ownership of durable goods. Possibly worth exploring for local business research.
This database is a large collection of electronic reference books. Some contain information about Massachusetts and her cities and towns. Many are descriptive, but some entries also include data. Simply search the word Massachusetts or a city name to come up with items to browse through. Once you have a results list, ranked by relevance, you can further sort through results by clicking on Document Types--like "State overview," "City overview" and "Statistical data"--in the left frame.