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A list of data sources

This is an overview of the sources of data used by existing community indicator projects. It is not a comprehensive list of exactly who to contact since this will vary depending on where your community is located. Instead, it provides ideas on the types of agencies and organizations that may have data available. This section is specifically related to United States data sources. Other countries may have similar data, but due to time and resource limitations, no attempt was made to identify non-U.S. sources of data.

Remember that the less local the source of the data, the more generalized the data will be and the less relevant it may be to local community sustainability. For example, a national inventory of chemical emissions from manufacturing plants may not include information about your community because none of the local manufacturers meet the reporting requirements. In this case, your local emergency planning committee may be a better source of information. Likewise, unemployment data may be available from a state agency on a statewide basis but a local social service agency may have more accurate information for your community.

The list below gives the names of organizations that may have useful information. Because of the many different ways that state and local governments can be organized, the names listed below may not fit the names in your particular area. The names are intended to give you an idea of what type of agency to approach for information.

  • Economy
    • United States
      • Department of Commerce
        • Bureau of the Census
        • Bureau of Economic Analysis
        • Bureau of Labor Statistics
      • Department of Labor
      • Federal Small Business Administration
    • State
      • Bureau of Labor and Industries
      • Department of Consumer and Business Services
      • Department of Employment Security
      • Department of Revenue
      • Employment Department: Childcare Division
      • Manufacturers' Guide
      • Office of Minority, Women, and Small Businesses
      • Office of Tourism
    • Local
      • Local Chamber of Commerce
      • Local Economic Development Council
      • Local Food Banks
      • Local Shelters
      • Mayor's or Town Manager's Office
      • Town or City Finance Department
  • Education
    • United States
      • Department of Education
      • Department of Labor
    • State
      • Department of Education
      • System of Higher Education
    • Local
      • Board of Education
      • Colleges and Universities
      • School Superintendent's Office
  • Environment
    • United States
      • Department of Agriculture
      • National Resources Inventory
      • Soil Conservation Services
      • Department of Energy
      • Environmental Protection Agency
      • Forest Service
      • National Forest Health Monitoring Program
    • State
      • Department of Agriculture
      • Department of Environmental Quality
      • Department of Fish and Wildlife
      • Department of Forestry
      • Department of Land Conservation
      • Department of Natural Resources
      • Department of Parks and Recreation
      • Department of Water Resources
      • Division of State Lands
      • State Emergency Response Commission
    • Local
      • Environmental organizations
      • Audubon Society - annual species count
      • Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • Government
    • State
      • Economic Development Department
      • Election Commission
      • Secretary of State
      • Tax Commission
    • Local
      • Town or City Registrar
      • Town or City Annual Reports
      • Town, City or County Clerk
      • League of Women Voters
  • Health
    • United States
      • Centers for Disease Control
    • State
      • Department of Human Resources
    • Local
      • Public Health Department
  • Housing
    • United States
      • Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
      • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • State
      • Department of Housing and Community Service
      • Planning Commission, Planning Board, Planning Office
      • Population Surveys
      • Social and Health Services
    • Local
      • Community Development Department
      • Department of Buildings and Inspections
      • Health Inspector
      • Housing Department
      • Public Health Office
  • Population
    • United States
      • Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
    • State
      • Data Center
      • Planning Commission, Planning Board, Planning Office
    • Local
      • City Planning Department
      • Town, City or County Clerk
      • Community Development Office
  • Public Safety
    • State
      • State Attorney General's Office
      • State Police Department
    • Local
      • Department of Public Health
      • Local Police and Fire Department
  • Recreation
    • State
      • Department of Parks and Recreation
    • Local
      • Department of Parks and Recreation
      • Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • Resource Use
    • United States
      • Department of Energy
      • Environmental Protection Agency
    • State
      • Department of Environmental Protection
      • Department of Natural Resources
      • Department of Revenue
    • Local
      • Department of Public Utilities
      • Department of Public Works
      • Utility Companies
  • Society
    • State
      • Department of Corrections
      • Department of Justice
      • Child Support Enforcement Division
      • Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs
      • Senior and Disabled Services Division
      • State Arts Commission
      • State Library
    • Local
      • Community Service Department
      • Department of Youth Services
      • Public library
  • Transportation
    • United States
      • Department of Transportation
    • State
      • Department of Motor Vehicles
      • Department of Transportation
      • Port Authority
      • State Police Department
    • Local
      • Metropolitan Transit Authority
      • Police Department