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March 26, 1999

Two new, free resources are available that provide access to statistical data that can be used for a wide variety of analytic processes, including impact assessment, regional measurement, strategic planning and program design.

Socioeconomic Data for Understanding Your Regional Economy: A User's Guide, provides an overview of various sources of data valuable in regional economic analysis. The document was designed for people who want to use readily available socioeconomic data to characterize activities and trends, especially at the state, regional or local level.

The User's Guide:

  • reviews the offerings of federal statistical agencies,
  • describes and compares sources of data by topic (e.g., population, employment, income, cost of living),
  • identifies data intermediaries who can help uses get needed data,
  • discusses approaches to using data,
  • points out some common hazards in the process of data analysis, and
  • offers suggestions on how to improve the impact of this type of analysis.

The second resource is EconData.Net, a Web site with links to over  125 public, university, and private sources of regional socioeconomic data. Access to on-line data is provided to the various series profiled in the User's Guide as well as many others. The site can be found at http://www.EconData.net

Both efforts were prepared by Andrew Reamer and Joseph Cortright with funding by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The User's Guide is available by e-mail by contacting John McNamee of the Economic Development Administration, at jmcnamee@doc.gov. EDA has printed a limited number of copies of the book, available on a first-come, first-served basis.