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Getting Started in Social Welfare Research

Overview of how to get started with research and sources for finding basic information

Locating Statistics

Locating specific statistics can feel like finding a needle in a haystack.  Searching for statistics has been made somewhat easier by the many government web sites devoted to statistics.

Other statistics can be found by searching journal articles and books, and using the SRI Abstracts, a researcher can locate a citation to where a certain statistic has been published.

You may also want to take a look at the many statistical handbooks located in our reference collection. For help, go to Ask Us 24/7!


FedStats. Washington, DC: Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy. This website links to statistical series from 100 different federal government agencies. Searching can be done by topic or agency.

Staistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Annual. This book provides useful tables and charts from thousands of federal statistical publications. Included are statistics on social welfare expenditures, federal food programs, child support, child abuse, household and family data, etc. Also useful is a guide to sources of statistics. DEWEY REF HA 202 (year)

Staistical Reference Index. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service. Coverage: 1980 to the present. SRI is an index (with abstracts) to the statistical publications of private organizations and U.S. state government agencies. It contains national, state, international and a small amount of local data. Arrangement is by source organization. The index volume allows access by subject, category, issuing source and title. Monthly (except January and February combined) with annual cumulations. ULIB REF HA 195 Z999 S78X

Note:  Check Internet Resources for Social Welfare for sources which provide statistical information for social work related research.