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Find Statistics, Demographics, and Public Opinion Polls

Definitions

A poll is a type of survey or inquiry into public opinion through interviewing a random sample of people. When you want to use public opinion in your research, think about the following:
  • Do you need opinion that is current or historical (such as when the event occurred)?
  • Whose opinion was documented? Who was left out? Does this have an effect on the outcome?
  • What was the purpose of collecting this information? Was it to inform or persuade?

When you are looking at a poll, here are some questions that you should think about.

A statistic is a calculated measurement created from a dataset of a large quantity of numerical data.

A demographic is a statistic derived from a study of populations of people. Demography includes the study of size, structure, characteristics, and distribution of populations over space and time.

It is important to remember that although polls, statistics, and demographic information are seperate concepts, the general public often uses them interchangeably. This guide will link you to all kinds of numerical data about people.

To learn more about polls, statistics, and demographics, visit the American Statistical Association's blog.

Research Tips

Use the following syntax when you are looking for statistics on a .gov and .org site:

keywords + statistics + site:.gov (EX: pet owners United States statistics site:.gov) = Spending on Pets Report

keywords + statistics + site:.org (EX: pet owners United States statistics site:.org) = U.S. Pet Ownership

Where to Search for Statistics, Demographics, and Public Opinion Polls

 Place to Search  Public Opinion  Demographic  International  University of Texas Statistics and Demographics  Election Polls  Historical

American Factfinder

           
American National Elections Study Guide            
CIA World Factbook            
Historical Statistics of the United States            
OntheMap            
PEW Research Center            
Public Agenda Online            
Polling the Nations            
PollingReport.com            
Social Explorer            
Statistical Abstract of the United States            
Statista            
UT Austin Student Profiles            

 Want more?

Statistics and Numeric Data Resources

Additional Statistics and Demographic Resources

 

'Document', Matt Saling, The Noun Project

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