Stats to back that up

While I was waiting for the bus to come to work at the USF Library this morning, I noticed the front page of today’s Examiner proclaimed, “Sky-high rents: SF tops the nation for median prices.” Naturally I plucked a copy from the newsstand and perused the article; anecdotally we all know it is nearly impossible to afford a rental in San Francisco these days (unless you’re working for one of the tech companies), but what hard data was the Examiner touting?

sky high rents

Turns out the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which samples small parts of the population every year in an effort to keep stats more updated than the usual 10 year Census cycle, released their 3 year estimates from 2010-2012 this week. That’s where the Examiner culled its data from.

Notice of availability of 3 year estimate report from the American Community Survey web site.
Notice of availability of 3 year estimate report from the American Community Survey web site.

The data collected and made available through the American Community Survey is handy for journalists writing news articles in the Examiner, but it is also handy for students writing research papers and preparing other school work.

If you’re itching to find a stat to back up a claim you’ve made, you can access the data from the American Community Survey, as well as the U.S. Census of Population and Housing and the Economic Census, in the database American FactFinder, linked from Gleeson Library Web site and also available through Gleeson’s Government Information portal.

The library subscribes to many other databases with lots of hard statistics as well. One of the quickest ways to find your way to these sources is to visit the library’s Start Your Research / Databases page and type statistics into the search bar at the top of the page. Auto-complete will give you a list of appropriate databases.

start your research stats 2

Happy statistics hunting!

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