Vital Statistics on American Politics 2011-2012
Publication Year: 2011
There is no other print source, online source, or Web search engine that provides the wide range and depth of insight found in Vital Statistics on American Politics. Each edition is updated with the most recent information available. What sets this book apart is the experience of editors Harold Stanley and Richard Niemi. These scholars consult hundreds of sources to calculate and locate the data, facts, and figures that offer a vivid and multifaceted portrait of the broad spectrum of United States politics and policies. In more than 230 tables and figures, students, professional researchers, and interested citizens will find chapters devoted to such key subject areas as elections and political parties, public opinion and voting, the media, the three branches of U.S. government, foreign, ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Chapter 1: Elections and Political Parties
- Chapter 2: Campaign Finance and Political Action Committees
- Chapter 3: Public Opinion and Voting
- Chapter 4: The Media
- Chapter 5: Congress
- Chapter 6: The Presidency and Executive Branch
- Chapter 7: The Judiciary
- Chapter 8: Federalism
- Chapter 9: Foreign and Military Policy
- Chapter 10: Social Policy
- Chapter 11: Economic Policy
Copyright by Sage Publications, Inc.
As we prepare each new edition of this book, we are reminded of the considerable debt we owe the people who have helped us in the past. These individuals, and the organizations to which they belong, are thanked in previous acknowledgments. For this edition, Christine Carberry and Jennifer McLernon again did a fine job of updating and proofreading many of the tables and figures. We could not have completed the work without their assistance.
In this edition, as in the last, we have made considerable use of material from the Pew Research Center. For two decades now, this organization, under its various initiatives, has been conducting quality research and reporting it in ways that are informative and easy to understand, while adhering to the kind of technical standards academics appreciate. We are happy to acknowledge our reliance on Pew's wide-ranging research capabilities (http://www.pewtrusts.org).
Help with specific tables or figures was provided by Lawrence Baum, Walter Dean Burnham, Rhodes Cook, Richard Curtin, Sheldon Goldman, Stanley Henshaw, Scott Keeter, Martha Joynt Kumar, Ann Marshall, Michael McDonald, Barbara Palmer, Dennis Simon, and John Swain.
We are especially grateful to the many, often anonymous government officials who helped us out with this and all previous editions. They have almost always been courteous, helpful, and prompt in providing us with information, books, website assistance, and so on. They clearly belie negative stereotypes of government bureaucrats.
And we again wish to thank all of the colleagues who have given us useful suggestions—whether by pointing out errors or by suggesting improvements in the content and format of individual tables or groups of tables.
CQ Press has been helpful as always. Sarah J. Walker ably oversaw the development of this new edition, and Mirna Araklian deftly handled production chores under tight deadlines. Sabra Bissette Ledent did another outstanding job of copyediting.
In creating this volume of basic statistical information on American government and politics, our goal has always been to provide broad coverage that spans, whenever possible, a lengthy time perspective. The text, along with the Guide to References for Political Statistics can serve as a fundamental reference book for those who wish to stay informed about numerous aspects of American politics.
This volume covers a wide range of topics as we seek to offer readers the numbers that count in American politics. In addition to standard subjects such as elections, Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary, this book provides information on the media; campaign finances; foreign, social, and economic policy; and a variety of issues related to state and local government. Coverage is not limited to “hard” data such as votes cast and offices won; rankings of public officials’ reputations, content analyses of media coverage, and public opinion data on policy issues are also included. The information ranges from simple lists to compilations of outcomes based on implicit analytical concerns. A historical perspective is maintained throughout; depending on the available data, the longest possible time periods are covered, even with public opinion data. The sources of material range from the findable to the fugitive: reference volumes, government publications, political science journals, monographs, the Internet, and press releases, among others. Indeed, the time span is sometimes so great, and the amount of information so large, that we report data for a limited number of years in the present volume, noting that additional data can be found in previous editions of Vital Statistics on American Politics.
The quantity and quality of statistical information have grown enormously in recent years, and this trend is unlikely to peak anytime soon. In fact, the Internet makes data overload just a click away. But statistics have a bad image. Even the numerically innocent can retort that “there're lies, damn lies, and statistics” and that “figures don't lie but liars can figure.” However, anyone seeking to understand politics—past, present, or future—would be ill-advised to take refuge in such skepticism. Increasingly, both public debates and political analyses contain points couched in or accompanied by statistics. Democracy turns in part on the ability of an informed public to follow such debates and analyses. Now more than ever, understanding politics requires an ability to comprehend numerical data and the assumptions behind them.
Although data are more essential and more readily available, the potential users of data are all too often lacking interpretive skills. Unless one knows how to read them, tables and figures can be less than useful; rather, they can be intimidating, incomprehensible, and boring. Yet properly understood, tables and figures can be a resource of considerable value and, surprisingly to many students, even intelligible and interesting.
This volume will not teach statistical methods, but it will foster a greater familiarity with the appropriate cautions about reading too much or too little into tables and figures. This introduction, the chapter introductions, and the Guide to References are all intended to enhance readers’ understanding of how to make better use of data displayed in tables and figures. More specifically, they are designed to help readers extract the maximum amount of information from tables and figures, understand the level of accuracy and kinds of inaccuracies in displays of data as well as the various sources used, and find additional information, including the up-to-date information that must be found in serial publications rather than books.
Some readers, particularly students who are accustomed to working with numbers as they appear in textbooks, are at times frustrated, perhaps even mystified, when confronted with whole tables of numbers—not to mention a whole book of tables and figures. An important point of departure for these readers is to realize that this book is based principally on simple numerical data, not on the results of complicated statistical manipulations. The fanciest statistics presented are averages or medians. Regression coefficients, chi-squares, and the like can be revealing and useful, and, in fact, increasingly political science has become so methodologically sophisticated that many journal articles are opaque to those without the ability to cope with advanced statistics. This book, however, fills a more fundamental need for a single volume encompassing a broad range of data about American politics, and, as such, it should be useful to the methodologically skilled and unskilled alike.
The figures and tables are easy to read. Many are merely lists, but useful lists. They are often lengthy because they cover as many as two hundred [Page xxi]years. Long historical stretches mean change, and that creates some complexities, such as when the names of the dominant parties change so that going back in time introduces unfamiliar labels (Figure 1-3). Notes to the tables and figures contain the necessary explanations as well as important qualifications and details; they must be read to understand the table or figure content. Following conventional practice, large numbers are sometimes expressed in units of thousands, millions, or billions to enhance readability. Although this practice, too, can lead to minor problems for readers unaccustomed to reading tabular material, with a bit of practice readers should be able to overcome any such difficulties. In general, a little care and caution in reading and interpreting numbers are all that is required.Accuracy of Published DataErrors in Data
The material selected for this volume is intended to be the most accurate, up-to-date information possible from the most reputable sources available. But anyone who has used statistical information realizes that it is almost never completely error-free. This is inevitably true here as well. Consider, for example, Tables 11-4 and 11-5. Both are taken from the same government publication, a hundred pages apart. The figures reported for total federal budget outlays, which appear in both tables, typically match. For example, the $946.3 billion total outlay for 1985 noted in Table 11-4 matches exactly the 1985 outlay shown in Table 11-5. Similarly, the total outlays for the other years match perfectly. Yet inexplicably the figures for national defense never quite match, differing by as little as $.4 billion and as much as $5.6 billion.
Why do such discrepancies and other kinds of errors (or what appear to be errors) occur? The answer varies.
Sometimes what appears to be an error is simply a matter of rounding. For example, 20.2 plus 20.4 equals 41 if one adds and then rounds, but equals 40 if one rounds and then adds. This explains why the sum of the numbers in certain columns in Table 10-4 does not quite match the total. A similar sort of “error” occurs when percentages sum to 99.8 or 100.2 rather than to 100 plus or minus 0.1 percent.
Exact Date of Data Collection.
Accurate interpretation of data depends on knowing the precise date of collection and the period covered. Sometimes the period of collection and any implication for interpretation are obvious. For example, the unemployment rate “at the end of the year” may differ [Page xxii]if the phrase means the average of the November and December figures rather than the December figure alone. The time factor can be more subtle—for example, if a U.S. senator-elect dies and someone from the other party is appointed to fill the seat, the number of Democrats and Republicans elected will differ slightly from the number of Democrats and Republicans that actually take office a few months later. Even seemingly similar time spans sometimes conceal important differences. For example, dollar amounts for given years are likely to differ if the researcher is using calendar years rather than fiscal years.
The date of data collection is important from another perspective as well. Data are often updated, and researchers need to know whether they are dealing with the “original” or the “revised” figures. Sometimes data providers make it clear that their initial figures are subject to change (such as when the government reports preliminary economic statistics), and that they will label revised statistics as such. But not always. We have found numerous instances in which data have been revised—and not only for the most recent period. It is always a good idea to check the latest publication of a time series to see if there have been changes to previously reported information.
Handling of “Minor” Categories.
“Minor” categories may be uncounted, ignored, or dropped for analytical reasons. Often, for example, votes are given only for the candidates of the two major parties. The small number of votes for the Socialist, Libertarian, and Prohibition candidates, not to mention the stray ballots cast for Mickey Mouse or “none of the above,” are unreported or lumped together under “other.” Thus a vote may be correctly reported as 42.7 percent (of the total vote) and just as correctly reported as 42.9 percent (of the two-party vote). Occasionally, minor categories create more complicated problems. For example, in New York State the same candidate may be nominated by two parties, such as the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party. The percentage of Democratic votes then differs from the percentage of votes received by the Democratic candidate.
A similar problem occurs in the reporting of survey data. In any large survey, in response to almost every question a small number of respondents give “oddball” responses, refuse to answer, or say that they do not know. Depending on how these responses are handled—often, but not always, they are eliminated before any further percentaging is done—simple distributions of responses can vary up to a few percentage points or more. “Don't know” responses are especially problematic. It is sometimes important to know how many individuals are uncertain of their response, so we include them in many of our tables (such as Table 3-12 and Tables 3-14 through 3-18). Tabulations of the same items with these responses removed will differ by varying, unknown amounts.
Changes in Measurement Techniques.
Changes in the way measurements are made can produce different figures and can lead to time series that are not fully comparable. Although the two categories sometimes meld together, we might distinguish between (1) changes in operationalization and (2) changes in conceptualization.
A change in operationalization occurs when the underlying idea remains the same but there is a change in the precise way in which the measurement is carried out. A classic example occurs in survey research, in trying to measure concepts such as “political efficacy” and “political trust” or even concepts such as “support for gun control.” Researchers at different times may define the concept in the same way but believe that they can “improve” on previous measures by changing the specific questions used to determine a person's efficacy, trust, or support. A consequence of doing so may be that we cannot measure change in public opinion because the new results are not truly comparable with those of earlier polls. Sometimes such changes are forced on reluctant researchers. For example, the “market basket” of items in the Consumer Price Index (Table 11-2) has changed over time. Fountain pens or carbon paper might have been reasonable items to include in the 1950s but not in the 2000s; in the same vein, because of technological progress some items could not have been included until recently.
A change in conceptualization occurs when researchers develop a new understanding of what is meant by some idea. A good example comes from the Current Population Survey (CPS), in which the U.S. Department of Labor tries to determine the status of “discouraged workers”—defined for many years as persons who are not employed and who want a job, but who are not looking for work because of perceived job market factors. Also for many years, the measure of discouraged workers was based on the relatively subjective notion of “desire for work,” whereas a newer definition relies on more objective measures of recent efforts to search for a job. This altered conceptualization of what it means to be looking for work was one of many changes made in the CPS during the early 1990s. (These changes are described in the September 1993 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.)
Inability to Carry out Exact Measurements.
Sometimes problems arise not because the underlying concept is unclear, but simply because researchers are unable to complete the measurements called for. Consider, for example, the decennial census—the effort to measure the total population of the United States. The concept is clear enough—count every individual living in the United States at a specific time (now designated as April 1 of each census year). However, in fact it is impossible to carry out such a measurement with absolute precision for such a vast population. Homeless persons, for example, are exceedingly difficult to count, and then there are always those individuals [Page xxiv]who for one reason or another do not want to be identified and make an effort not to be counted.
A more vexing example is the effort to estimate voter turnout. Some of the problems are questions of conceptualization. For example, in calculating “presidential” turnout (Table 1-1), does one want to include individuals who go to the polls but do not in fact cast a ballot for president? There is also the question of how well researchers can obtain the count they seek. If they define the basis for the calculation (the “denominator”) as all those eligible to vote, numerous problems arise, such as determining the number of felons or ex-felons in the voting-age population who are ineligible. For this reason, even simple-sounding numbers are estimated variously.1
Ad Hoc Problems.
All sorts of small discrepancies can occur, with ad hoc explanations for each one. One fairly well-known example is counting presidents. Barack Obama is usually said to be the forty-fourth president, but he is only the forty-third person to hold the office. Grover Cleveland is counted twice because his two terms were separated by four years. So, is the correct number forty-three or forty-four? It depends on precisely what one means. A less obvious problem occurs in counting Supreme Court nominations that failed. In 1987 Douglas Ginsburg was publicly announced as President Ronald Reagan's choice, but his name was withdrawn before it was formally submitted to the Senate. Technically, was he nominated? This kind of subtlety is exacerbated when dealing with events of the distant past. It would be easy, for example, to think that the multiple listings of certain nominees to the Supreme Court by President John Tyler are an egregious typographical error. In fact, these multiple nominations occurred (all unsuccessfully) in a fight between the president and Congress (Table 7-4).Solutions to Errors in Data
Awareness that data may contain inaccuracies is no reason to ignore the data; nor is it an excuse to ignore the possible inaccuracies. Consideration of some “solutions” to data errors helps to illustrate this point. The solutions, like the problems just described, are suggestive rather than exhaustive.
Sometimes errors are relatively obvious and can be easily corrected. One example is misprints. One might encounter references to the 535 members of the House of Representatives when obviously the whole Congress is meant. Checking with alternative or more authoritative sources when mistakes are suspected can help to remedy such problems.
Outlandish or illogical numbers should also be checked. A classic example of finding and explaining nonsensical results is the case of two researchers who were not willing to believe data from the 1950 census showing “a surprising [Page xxv]number of widowed fourteen-year-old boys and, equally surprising, a decrease in the number of widowed teenage males at older ages.”1 They wrote a “detective story” about how they traced the problem to systematic errors in the way certain data were entered into the census records.
Another method—one that should always be used—is to check footnotes and accompanying text for exceptions and special comments. Recognize that the problem may not really be error, but misreading. Consider the table on U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War (Table 9-5). For 1973–1993, the bottom row shows there were no U.S. military forces in Vietnam but 1,118 battle deaths—surely an anomaly. The note reveals, however, that there were troops in Vietnam for nearly a month at the beginning of this period—the zero indicates the force count as of December 31, 1973, and U.S. forces were withdrawn on January 27, 1973. In addition, forces dying of wounds incurred earlier or those who were missing and later classified as deceased are also considered battle deaths.
Another solution is what is formally called sensitivity analysis. When values are inexact or differ across sources, a researcher should ask how sensitive the conclusion is to the precise values used. If the true values differ by some specified amount from the reported values, would the conclusion change? If not, the researcher can be more confident about the conclusion. Similarly, if sources differ, consider the actual values from several sources. If the conclusion to be drawn does not vary with the different values, the discrepancies are only a minor problem. For example, almost any conclusion about national defense expenditures would be the same whether 1995 expenditures were $272.1 billion (Table 11-4) or $273.6 billion (Table 11-5), even though the difference represents what in other contexts would be an astonishing $1.5 billion.
For the researcher examining over-time data, one way to avoid possible errors is to be sure the data are truly comparable. For one thing, check for indications that the data were revised or updated. Preliminary reports are sometimes not directly comparable with initial reports. In addition, check that the data were collected uniformly or know what the differences are over time and their probable effects. Occasionally, guesses about probable error can be confirmed by formal tests. An excellent example is a study in which both old and new survey questions were asked. Differences that had previously been attributed to changes in the electorate over time were shown to be methodological artifacts.1
Sometimes when changes occur, one can develop new estimates, or incorporate ones that are supplied, for an entire existing time series. For example, in the mid-1990s the Bureau of Economic Analysis undertook a comprehensive revision of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), and in doing so it published new estimates of the gross domestic [Page xxvi]product back to 1929, which, in turn, affected many other calculations. Along the same lines, in 2004 the General Social Survey, used as a basis for some tables about public opinion in Chapter 3, changed its sample design. This change required the use of sample weights for that and earlier years, resulting in slight changes in previously reported figures. While frustrating in that the older series might have to be replaced entirely by the new numbers, the new data provide a comparable time series for the entire period. Of course, in such situations researchers also must ask themselves which figures should be used. The original calculations are arguably better if a researcher is asking questions that depend on how people viewed the world at the time the original data were collected.
All data, perhaps especially data over time, should be examined for “outliers.” If a series of values, say the percentages of votes for the Republican candidate in a given district, are 52, 56, 49, 85, and 50, the accuracy of the 85 percent must be checked. Is the 85 a transposition of 58? If 85 is the correct number, what is the reason for it? Was the candidate essentially unopposed that year? What conclusion should be drawn if the 85 were omitted?
Researchers should always think carefully about what information is really wanted. There are instances in which it is necessary to decide which of two or three sets of equally valid data are most appropriate to answer a given question. We noted, for example, that one might wish to employ only the two-party vote or the vote for all parties, include survey respondents who answer “don't know” or eliminate them, or use contemporary data rather than re-estimates made years later.
Finally, after taking all reasonable steps to ensure the data are as good as can be obtained and that they address the question at hand, the researcher should indicate known errors. It is better to point out that there is some question about certain figures than to pretend that they are perfect. If a loftier reason does not come to mind, being straightforward about inaccuracies at least prevents readers from lobbing them back, implying the researcher was too ignorant to notice the problems.Obtaining Additional Material
This book provides essential figures and tables, but the coverage is far from exhaustive. Many readers may want data with a slightly different twist or of another sort altogether. The Guide to References for Political Statistics in this volume should help to orient readers who seek information beyond that contained here. The sources given for the tables and figures in this book should also be considered in such searches. They will especially alert readers to the many electronic sources now available.
Data on current events can be found in newspapers, weekly news magazines, CQ Weekly, and the National Journal. The indexes of CQ Weekly, National Journal, and the major newspapers are a valuable guide. Online sources such as http://Newspaperlinks.com or http://Refdesk.com provide useful links to newspapers on the Web, as does http://Newslink.org, which also covers magazines as well as radio and television stations. Subscription services such as LexisNexis, Newsbank, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers provide additional coverage, not only of current events but also of historical and legal materials. And Google's news archive allows one to search online sources by month and year. Many of these services are now available on the Web or as electronic databases available at research libraries.
Reference librarians should never be overlooked in the quest for information. Librarians for government document collections are also invaluable resources. Interlibrary loans can help to secure less readily available volumes, although principal reference works and current material seldom circulate in this fashion.
For some material, one may need to contact organizations that compile or disseminate the data. Various directories (most now online as well as in hard copy) are available—of party organizations, interest groups, associations, research institutions, and state agencies. At the federal level, CQ Press's Washington Information Directory is a valuable guide to potential sources. The Council of State Governments, with its CSG State Directories of administrative and elected officials, provides a similar service at the state level.
Data and texts are now often available in electronic form. Numerous commercial vendors offer online data services, and government agencies have moved many publications onto the Web, some of them exclusively so. Although such a change makes information widely available, it also means that consumers of information must be computer literate. Fortunately, producers are providing more user-friendly sites at the same time that consumers are becoming more sophisticated.
Archives of electronic data also constitute a valuable source of information and were the source of several tables and figures for this volume. The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan has the largest collection of digital social science data. A guide to its resources is available at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu, and some of its data are made available there for observation and analysis online. Most major research universities are members of the consortium. Anyone wishing to learn how to obtain data should contact the official university representatives of ICPSR. Other large data repositories exist in other countries (see http://www.iassistdata.org).
Because of the tremendous growth of sites on the Web, the appearance and disappearance of useful sites, and the availability of powerful search [Page xxviii]engines, it would be pointless (as well as impossible) to try to develop anything like a comprehensive list. Nevertheless, the Guide to References lists sites that may be of special interest in searching for political statistics. As noted, we also recommend using the sources we cite in the tables and figures as a starting point for gathering additional information.
These hints are merely suggestions for those who wish to go beyond this volume to track down particular pieces of information. We hope readers will find the extensive coverage in this obviously not exhaustive volume to be convenient and valuable.
On this matter, see the lengthy but informative discussions in the following, along with the work cited in the notes and sources for Table 1-1: Walter Dean Burnham, “Triumphs and Travails in the Study of American Voting Participation Rates, 1788–2006,” Journal of the Historical Society 7 (2007): 505–519; Curtis Gans, Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788–2009 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011).
Ansley J. Coale and Frederick F. Stephan, “The Case of the Indians and the Teen-Age Widows,” Journal of the American Statistical Association 57 (1962): 338.
John L. Sullivan, James E. Piereson, and George E. Marcus, “Ideological Constraint in the Mass Public: A Methodological Critique and Some New Findings,” American Journal of Political Science 22 (1978): 233–249.
AppendixAppendixDefinitions of Regions
Analyses of U.S. politics often involve breaking the nation down into groups of states in order to highlight tendencies and trends in different regions. For ease of reference, four regional definitions, used in various tables in this book, are shown here. These four, while prominent, by no means exhaust the various definitions of regions that have been employed in the study of U.S. politics.Guide to References for Political StatisticsGeneral
Congressional Information Service. American Statistics Index: A Comprehensive Guide and Index to the Statistical Publications of the U.S. Government. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service, 1973–. Annual, with monthly supplements. Available online at LexisNexis Statistical DataSets (http://academic.lexisnexis.com).
Definitive guide, multiply indexed, to statistics “of probable research significance” in government publications; 1974 “Annual and Retrospective Edition” includes not only items in print but also significant items published over the preceding decade.
——. Statistical Reference Index: A Selective Guide to American Statistical Publications from Sources Other Than the U.S. Government. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service, 1980–. Annual, with bimonthly supplements. Available online at LexisNexis Statistical DataSets (http://academic.lexisnexis.com).
A complement to American Statistics Index, this resource indexes statistics from private and public sources other than the U.S. government.
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report (CQ Weekly as of April 18, 1998). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1945–.
Newsweekly covering political developments in Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, and national politics; individual voting records on all roll call votes in the House and Senate; texts of presidential press conferences and major statements. CQ Weekly is available online with an individual or library subscription (http://www.cq.com).
Congressional Research Service. The Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2004. 108th Cong., 2nd sess., S. Doc. 108-17. Supplement, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., S. Doc. 110-17.
Not statistics-laden, but an essential document with commentary on and annotations of Supreme Court decisions and tables on proposed constitutional amendments pending and unratified, laws (congressional, state, and local) held [Page 409]unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and Supreme Court decisions overruled by subsequent decisions. U.S. law requires a new edition every ten years with biennial supplements between editions to keep this work current.
Federal Statistics, http://www.fedstats.gov
Gateway to statistics from over one hundred federal agencies.
Government Printing Office, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/index.html
Provides free electronic access to publications of the federal government.
Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, http://dvn.iq.harvard.edu/dvn
Large collection of social science research data covering diverse topics.
Historical Statistics of the United States. Millennial ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Invaluable broad-ranging collection of more than twelve thousand time series covering the nation's history; often the series can be updated by the annual Statistical Abstract of the United States (see below).
Law Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/law/index.php
Established in 1832, has grown to become the world's largest law library with over 2.65 million volumes. Some resources available online.
Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov
The largest library in the world, serves as the research arm of Congress.
Maier, Mark H. The Data Game: Controversies in Social Science Statistics. 3rd ed. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1999.
Discussion of statistical source material, with an emphasis on inaccuracies, ambiguities, misinterpretations, and unavailability, as well as on the relationship between statistics and important social questions.
ProQuest Statistical Insight (formerly LexisNexis Statistical), http://academic.lexisnexis.com
Online statistics from U.S. and state governmental publications, among others, and international governmental organizations.
U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov
A primary source for population data, with links to federal government agencies and state data centers.
U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1879–. Annual.
Strong, indispensable collection of nationally significant statistics from public and private sources on economics, politics, and society, and generally worth checking first (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab). Also a useful guide to sources for additional statistics; indicates which time-series update those in Historical Statistics of the United States (see above).
U.S. Congress. House. Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Biennial.
Solid reference on the Constitution with full notes on all ratifications; indexed.Elections
Archer, J. Clark, Stephen J. Lavin, Kenneth C. Martis, and Fred M. Shelley. Historical Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1788–2004. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.
Maps showing regional voting patterns and context for U.S. presidential elections.
Bartley, Numan V., and Hugh D. Graham. Southern Elections: County and Precinct Data, 1950–1972. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.
A compilation of gubernatorial and senatorial contests, primaries, and referenda in southern states; some socioeconomic and geographic analysis of the elections.
Burnham, Walter Dean. Voting in American Elections: The Shaping of the American Political Universe Since 1788. Palo Alto, Calif.: Academica Press, 2010.
Discussion of problems in estimating turnout, references to other efforts, and extensive data on turnout and election results for president, the U.S. House, and more.
Congressional Quarterly. Guide to U.S. Elections. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
Superb collection of vote returns for presidential, gubernatorial, and U.S. House elections since 1824, electoral college votes since 1789, U.S. Senate elections since 1913, presidential primaries since 1912, and primaries for governor and senator since 1956 (in southern states since 1919); general and candidate indexes; biographies of presidential and vice presidential candidates; lists of governors and senators since 1789; discussions of and data on political parties and presidential nominating conventions throughout the nation's history.
CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection, http://www.cqpress.com/product/CQ-Voting-and-Elections-Collection.html
Online searchable database with information about individual races as well as summary information related to open-seat races, party switches, race competitiveness, and so on. Requires subscription.
DC's Political Report, http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com
Contain numerous links to candidates, political parties, election results, and governmental and political organizations.
Deskins, Donald R., Jr., Hanes Walton Jr., and Sherman C. Puckett. Presidential Elections, 1789–2008: County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.
Unique feature: multicolor maps showing presidential election results at the county level.
Dubin, Michael J. United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st through the 105th Congresses. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1998.
Complete, insofar as possible, returns for all U.S. House and Senate general elections; contains percentages for each Congress of representatives unopposed, seeking reelection, reelected, defeated, and first-termers.
——. United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1776–1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2003; 1861–1911, 2010.
Detailed compilation of gubernatorial elections.
——. United States Presidential Elections, 1788–1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002.
Detailed compilation of early presidential elections.
Federal Election Commission, http://www.fec.gov
Official source for data on campaign contributions and expenditures in federal elections.
Gans, Curtis. Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788–2009. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.
Discussion of problems in estimating turnout and extensive data on turnout for president, the U.S. Senate and House, and state governors.
Glashan, Roy R. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775–1978. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1979.
Details about state governors (such as birth dates, party affiliations, principal occupations, and terms of office) and election data. Continued in Mullaney (see below).
Kallenbach, Joseph E., and Jessamine S. Kallenbach. American State Governors, 1776–1976. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1977–1982.
Election results and biographical data on governors.
McDonald, Michael. “United States Elections Project.” http://elections.gmu.edu
Turnout data for U.S. elections since 1948, with an emphasis on the “voter eligible population,” correcting for numbers of noncitizens, certain ex-felons, and others in the voting-age population who are ineligible to vote. Also offers data on and analyses of election administration and redistricting.
Mullaney, Marie. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1979–1987. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1988.
Continues the volume by Glashan (see above).
——. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1988–1994. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
Details about state governors (such as birth dates, party affiliations, principal occupations, and terms of office). Continues earlier volume.
Nomination and Election of the President and Vice President of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1960–. Quadrennial.
Compilation of federal and state laws and party rules governing nomination and election of the president.
Project Vote Smart, http://www.votesmart.org
Provides issue positions, biographical details, and campaign finance information on numerous candidates for president, Congress, and state legislatures, and information on statewide ballot measures.
Rusk, Jerrold. A Statistical History of the American Electorate. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2001.
Includes lists and dates of election laws, initiative and referendum data, and measures of party competition, partisan swing, split-ticket voting, and partisan strength.
Scammon, Richard M., Alice McGillivray, and Rhodes Cook, eds. America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, various years.
Two volumes that span 1920–2004, providing popular votes (state and county) for president as well as state presidential primary results.
——. America Votes: A Handbook of Contemporary American Election Statistics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, Elections Research Center, 1956–.
Convenient compilation of vote totals and statistics by state for general elections and primaries for president, governor, and senator, principally since 1945 (comparable district-level data for members of Congress); county-level totals and statistics for most recent general election for president, governor, and senator; state maps with county and congressional district boundaries.
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Population Characteristics, Series P-20. Voting and Registration in the Election of November [Year]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1964–. Biennial.
Survey results on voter registration and turnout in presidential and midterm general elections for the nation and regions (and sometimes states and metropolitan areas) for various groups (http://www.census.gov).Political Parties
Bain, Richard C., and Judith H. Parris. Convention Decisions and Voting Records. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1973.
Data on convention actions through 1972.
Congressional Quarterly. National Party Conventions, 1831–2008. 9th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
Summarizes conventions, with results of ballots, nominees, and party profiles.
David, Paul T. Party Strength in the United States, 1872–1970. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of America, 1972. Updated for 1972 in Journal of Politics 36 (1972): 785–796; for 1974 in Journal of Politics 38 (1974): 416–425; for 1976 in Journal of Politics 40 (1976): 770–780.
Measures of party competition in the states covering several offices and an admirably lengthy historical span.
Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org
Republican National Committee, http://www.rnc.org
The Democratic and Republican Parties’ official websites containing news releases, transcripts, video, and related material.Campaign Finance and Political Action Committees (PACs)
Campaign Finance Institute, http://www.cfinst.org
Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org
CQ MoneyLine, http://www.cqmoneyline.com
National Institute on Money in State Politics, http://www.followthemoney.org
Data on and analyses of campaign contributions and expenditures in federal and state elections.
Federal Election Commission. Annual Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1976–.
Cumulative figures since the mid-1970s on contributions and spending in federal election campaigns; also information on political action committee growth and activities (http://www.fec.gov).
Magleby, David B., and Anthony Corrado, eds. Financing the 2008 Election: Assessing Reform. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2011.
Coverage of fund raising and spending in all phases of the presidential campaign; continues work by Alexander Heard and by Herbert Alexander on financing presidential campaigns since 1960.Public Opinion
Gallup Poll, http://www.gallup.com
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, http://www.icpsr.umich.edu
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, http://people-press.org
Polling the Nations, http://www.orspub.com
Polling Report, http://www.pollingreport.com
Online access to current and historical collections of public opinion poll data.
American National Election Studies. “Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior.” http://www.electionstudies.org
Tables and graphs showing public opinion, political participation, and electoral choice in American politics since 1952; responses to questions asked in the American National Election Studies.
Astin, A. W., et al. The American Freshman: Forty Year Trends. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007. National Norms for Fall, 1998–. Annual.
Reports of national surveys of college freshmen, including attitudes toward jobs, subject interests, and liberalism/conservatism.
Opinion Research Service. American Public Opinion Index. Louisville, Ky.: Opinion Research Service, 1981–2000. Annual.
Indexes scientifically drawn samples of national, state, and local universes.
POLL (The Public Opinion Location Library). Storrs, Conn.: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. http://ropercenter.uconn.edu.
A computer-based information retrieval system for public opinion survey data. Extensive coverage for 1955 to the present; some coverage of earlier years. Subscription service with limited free access.
Public Opinion Quarterly. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937–. Quarterly.
Analysis of the mechanics and findings of survey research; regular thematic presentation of poll results.Media
ABC News, http://abcnews.com
CBS News, http://www.cbs.com
Fox News, http://www.foxnews.com
New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com
USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com
Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com
ADI Book. Beltsville, Md.: Arbitron Television. Annual.
Reports of television usage, including demographic and market analyses.
Broadcasting Publications. Broadcasting Cablecasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, 1982–. Annual. Continues Broadcasting Cable Yearbook, which combined Broadcasting Yearbook (1968–1979) and Broadcasting Cable Sourcebook (1973–1979).
International directory of radio, television, and cable industries as well as related fields. Presents some statistical overviews.
Cable and Station Coverage Atlas, 1986. Indianapolis, Ind.: Warren Publishing, 1986–. Annual.
Data on television stations and the growing reach of cable systems.
C-SPAN Archives. West Lafayette, Ind.: C-SPAN, 1987–. http://www.c-spanvideos.org/videolibrary/
Records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming; contains every program aired since 1987.
Dow Jones Factiva, http://www.factiva.com
Online access to major U.S. newspapers, Dow Jones and Reuters's newswires, and business publications.
Editor & Publisher—The Fourth Estate. New York: Editor & Publisher, 1884–. Weekly.
Weekly periodical covering the media.
Wide-ranging material from journals, newspapers, reference books, and other sources. Includes databases, documents, maps, photographs, and more.
Media Tenor, http://www.mediatenor.com
International organization monitoring and analyzing media content on topics that include U.S. electoral campaigns and government.
Newsbank, Inc., http://www.newsbank.com
Online access to hundreds of U.S. and international newspapers and other sources.
Nielsen Television Index. Northbrook, Ill.: A. C. Nielsen, 1955. Annual.
Overall and market section reports on television viewing and network program audiences.
Nielsen Wire, http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/category/politics
Data on audience ratings for political events and topics.
Online access to major U.S. newspapers and magazines. Includes ProQuest Historical Newspapers—New York Times from 1851 and seven other major papers.
Television Digest. Television and Cable Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Television Digest, 1946–. Annual.
Data on cable, television, and related industries; published in two volumes: “Stations” and “Cable and Services.”
Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University. http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu.
Archives of nightly network news since 1968.Congress
Library of Congress, Thomas: Legislative Information, http://thomas.loc.gov
U.S. House of Representatives, http://www.house.gov
U.S. Senate, http://www.senate.gov
Balinski, Michel, and H. Peyton Young. Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982.
Analysis of methods of apportionment of representatives among the states.
Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa. The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal, 1972–. Biennial.
Data-rich political analyses of each state, congressional district, representative, senator, and governor; current composition of committees; state maps with congressional district and county boundaries.
Biographical Directory of Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp
Biographical directory of the U.S. Congress, 1774–present.
Congressional Quarterly. American Political Leaders, 1789–2009. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
Material on more than eleven thousand members of Congress: age, religion, occupation, women, blacks, turnover, and shifts between chambers; data on congressional sessions, party composition, and leadership. Also includes biographical summaries of presidents, vice presidents, Supreme Court justices, and governors.
——. Congress A to Z. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2008.
Mostly essays but contains useful listings of hard-to-find material such as treaties killed by the Senate, impeachment trials, and women members of Congress.
——. Congress and the Nation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1965–. Quadrennial. Years 1945–1964 contained in one volume.
Akin to Congressional Quarterly Almanac (see following listings), but each volume now covers a presidential term.
——. Congressional Districts in the 2000s. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003.
Profiles of each congressional district, with statistics on election returns, economic makeup, and demographics. Volume covering the 1990s published in 1993.
——. Congressional Roll Call. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/ CQ Press, 1974–. Annual.
Compilation of every roll call vote by every member of Congress and summary voting measures (ideology, party unity, presidential support, and voting participation).
——. [Year] Congressional Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1959–. Biennial.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, and numerous biographies of senators’ and representatives’ personal staffs and the staffs of congressional committees and subcommittees.
——. CQ Almanac. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1945–. Annual.
Each volume now covers legislation for a single session of Congress; appendixes contain particularly useful data on Congress and politics.
——. Guide to Congress. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Massive, rich accounting of how Congress works and how it developed. Check here first for data covering all but the most recent years.
——. Landmark Legislation, 1774–2002. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003.
Summary and historical and political background of major legislation and treaties.
——. Politics in America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1981–. Biennial.
Data-rich political analyses of each state, congressional district, representative, and senator; current composition of committees; state maps with congressional district and county boundaries.
Congressional Research Service, http://www.opencrs.com
Many Congressional Research Service documents can be found here.
CQ Press Congress Collection, http://library.cqpress.com/congress
Online, searchable database with biographical and roll call voting information on individual members of Congress as well as summaries of interest group ratings, key vote analysis, policy analysis, and so on. Requires subscription.
Dewhirst, Robert W., and John David Rausch Jr., eds. Encyclopedia of the United States Congress. New York: Facts on File, 2007.
Essays exploring the history, processes, and politics of Congress.
Freeman, Eric, and Stephan A. Jones. African Americans in Congress. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Stories of and original documents about the history of African Americans in the U.S. House and Senate.
Martis, Kenneth C. Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989. New York: Macmillan, 1989.
——. The Historical Atlas of the United States Congressional Districts, 1789–1983. New York: Free Press, 1983.
Congressional-based perspective on the surge and decline of political parties.
Martis, Kenneth C., and Gregory A. Elmes. The Historical Atlas of State Power in Congress, 1790–1990. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1993.
Maps, tables, and text describing changes in apportionment among the states.
Martis, Kenneth C., and Gyula Pauer. The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America. New York: Macmillan, 1994.
Maps, tables, and text describing Confederate districts, elections, and key votes.
Ornstein, Norman J., Thomas E. Mann, and Michael J. Malbin, eds. Vital Statistics on Congress. Publisher and frequency vary.
Data on characteristics of members, elections, campaign finance, committees, staff, expenses, workload, budgeting, and voting alignments. Most data series stretch back to World War II, some longer.
Parsons, Stanley B., William W. Beach, and Michael J. Dubin. United States Congressional Districts and Data. 2 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978, 1986.
These two volumes cover 1789–1883.
Parsons, Stanley B., Michael J. Dubin, and Karen Toombs Parsons. United States Congressional Districts, 1883–1913. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
Demographic and geographic data about U.S. congressional districts between 1883 and 1913; continues coverage of volumes listed above.
Sharp, Michael. The Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings. 2 vols. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2005.
Contains voting scores (for example, presidential support) and interest group ratings (eleven groups, as available) for all members of Congress from 1947 to 2004.
Silbey, Joel, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System: Studies of the Principal Structures, Processes, and Policies of Congress and State Legislatures Since the Colonial Era. 3 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1994–1996.
A thorough treatment of the national and state legislatures.
Stewart, Charles, III, David T. Canon, and Garrison Nelson, eds. Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789–1946. 4 vols. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2002; Nelson and Stewart, eds., 1993–2010, 2010.
A comprehensive history of congressional committee membership.
Treese, Joel, ed. Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1996. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1997.
Biographies of U.S. senators and representatives to 1996.
U.S. Census Bureau. Congressional District Atlas. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1960–. Frequency varies.
Detailed maps of congressional districts.
——. Congressional District Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–. Frequency varies.
Census data by congressional district with maps.
U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing. Official Congressional Directory. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1809–. Biennial (in recent years).
Biographical data on current members and statistics on the sessions of Congress. Useful reference source on committees and subcommittees, foreign representatives and consular offices in the United States, press representatives, and state delegations.Presidency and Executive Branch
The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov
Compilation of Presidential Documents. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1965–.
Collection of presidential activities. Includes texts of proclamations, executive orders, speeches, and other presidential communications; supplements include acts gaining presidential approval, nominations submitted for Senate confirmation, and a list of White House press releases (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/). Indexed.
Congressional Quarterly. Federal Regulatory Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1979–. Frequency varies.
Extensive profiles of the major and minor regulatory agencies—more than one hundred in all.
——. [Year] Federal Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1982–. Biennial.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, and numerous biographies of key executives and assistants in the executive branch of the federal government.
——. Guide to the Presidency. 4th ed. Edited by Michael Nelson. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Detailed coverage of numerous aspects of presidents and administrations. Focus on the institution complements CQ Press's volumes on Congress and elections.
——. Washington Information Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1975–. Annual.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, and heads of thousands of federal government and private, nonprofit agencies in and about Washington, D.C.
DeGregorio, William A., and Sandra Lee Stuart. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. 7th ed. Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 2009.
Biographies of presidents and cabinet members.
Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. 8th ed. New York: H. W. Wilson, 2009.
Chapter on each president and comparative statistics on all presidents.
Ragsdale, Lyn. Vital Statistics on the Presidency: George Washington to George W. Bush. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
Data largely on postwar presidents—their careers, elections, speeches and appearances, approval ratings, and congressional relationships—with some longer time series.
U.S. Government Organization Manual. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1935–. Annual.
Official federal government handbook detailing the organization, activities, and current officials in legislative, judicial, and executive governmental units.The Judiciary
Federal Judicial Center, http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf
U.S. Courts, The Federal Judiciary, http://www.uscourts.gov
U.S. Supreme Court, http://www.supremecourt.gov
Federal court personnel, administration, procedures, and opinions.
The American Bench. Sacramento, Calif.: Reginald Bishop Forster and Associates, 1977–. Biennial.
Comprehensive listing of all judges in the United States, along with brief biographies of about eighteen thousand judges.
Congressional Quarterly. [Year] Judicial Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1986–. Annual.
Personnel listings for federal courts, maps of court jurisdictions, biographies of judges and staffs.
The Corrections Yearbook. South Salem, N.Y.: Criminal Justice Institute, 1980–. Annual.
Inmate populations, budgets, facilities, staff, and other data for jails with average daily populations of two hundred or more.
Cushman, Clare, ed. The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–1995. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1995.
Biographies of justices, including backgrounds, careers, and issues and cases on which they passed judgment.
Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Annual Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1940–. Annual.
Numerous statistics on the kind, timing, and disposition of cases in the federal courts and on numbers and workloads of federal judges.
Epstein, Lee, Jeffrey A. Segal, Harold J. Spaeth, and Thomas G. Walker. Supreme Court Compendium. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.
Data on characteristics of justices, caseloads, voting alignments, public opinion, and legal developments.
Friedman, Leon, and Fred L. Israel, eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Rev. ed. New York: Facts on File, 2010.
Biography of each justice, including several typical opinions; tables showing acts of Congress held unconstitutional, decisions overruled by subsequent decisions, and summary biographical data.
Judges of the United States. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983.
Biographies of all federal judges through 1983; see also http://www.fjc.gov/public/home.nsf/hisj.
Savage, David. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010.
Solid, broad coverage of the Supreme Court and development of the law; an excellent source that also refers readers to additional references.
State Court Caseload Statistics: Annual Report. Williamsburg, Va.: Conference of State Court Administrators and the National Center for State Courts, 1976–. Annual.
Data on judicial workloads in the state courts.Federalism
Council of State Governments, http://www.csg.org
Library of Congress, State Government Information, http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/stategov/stategov.html
National Governors Association, http://www.nga.org
The Pew Center on the States, http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org
Information on the structure, personnel, and policies of individual states.
Alexander, Herbert E., and Mike Eberts. Public Financing of State Elections: A Data Book and Election Guide to Public Funding of Political Parties and Candidates in Twenty States. Los Angeles: Citizens’ Research Foundation, 1986.
Important compendium for understanding and comparing state regulation of campaign finances.
Almanac of the 50 States: Basic Data Profiles with Comparative Tables. Palo Alto, Calif.: Information Publications, 1985–. Annual.
State-level summaries of data on government and elections, state expenditures, federal aid, population characteristics, crime, and so forth.
Beyle, Thad, ed. State Government. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1985–. Annual.
Analysis of recent developments in state governments; article reprints from a diverse set of state publications.
The Book of the States. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 1935–. Biennial; annual since 2002.
Definitive reference to the current data on state government activities across the board.
The County Year Book. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Counties and International City/County Management Association, 1975–. Annual.
Surveys issues and trends in county government and administration; a reliable source of data on county government.
CSG State Directories. 3 vols. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 1977–. Annual.
Lists state elected officials; state legislative leadership, committees, and staff; state administrative officials by function. Originally issued as a supplement to The Book of the States. Previously biennial under various titles.
Dubin, Michael J. Party Affiliations in the State Legislatures: A Year by Year Summary, 1796–2006. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2007.
Extensive data on states’ electoral processes, term lengths, legislature size and membership by party, election dates, and more.
Federal Election Campaign Laws. Washington, D.C.: Federal Election Commission, 2008.
Lengthy compilation of laws related to organization of campaigns, disclosure and reporting requirements, enforcement procedures, and so on.
Holli, Melvin G., and Peter Jones, eds. Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820–1980. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981.
Covers 679 mayors in over a dozen cities; contains lists categorizing mayors by characteristics such as party, religion, and ethnicity.
Lilley, William III, Laurence J. DeFranco, Mark F. Bernstein, and Kari L. Ramsby. The Almanac of State Legislative Elections. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Maps and statistical profiles of the geographic, economic, and political composition of state legislative districts.
——. The State Atlas of Political and Cultural Diversity. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.
Racial and ancestral makeup of top state legislative districts. Available diskette contains data on all state legislative districts.
Morgan, Scott, Kathleen O'Leary Morgan, and Rachel Boba, eds. Crime State Rankings 2011. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.
Compilation of state rankings in numerous crime-related categories.
——. Health Care State Rankings 2011. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.
Compilation of state rankings in numerous areas of health.
The Municipal Year Book. New York: International City/County Management Association, 1934–. Annual.
Reliable source for urban data and developments.
National Conference of State Legislatures, http://www.ncsl.org
Compilations of laws and data on elections, redistricting, term limits, and other topics, as well as links to sites of individual state legislatures.
National Directory of State Agencies. Bethesda, Md.: National Standards Association, 1976–. Annual since 1986.
Heads, addresses, and phone numbers of state agencies.
State Legislative Sourcebook. Topeka, Kan.: Government Research Service, 1986–. Annual.
A guide to finding detailed information on state legislative material, including offices, addresses, phone numbers, and price lists. State statistical abstracts. A list of state statistical abstracts (or near equivalents) can be found in recent editions of the Statistical Abstract of the United States. They are of widely varying quality.
State Yellow Book. New York: Leadership Directories, Inc., 1973–. Quarterly.
Some statistics, but emphasizes contact information for executive and legislative branches, including departments, commissions, agencies, and legislative leadership and legislative committees. Continues State Information Book (http://www.leadershipdirectories.com).
Tax Foundation. Facts and Figures on Government Finance. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1941–. Updated periodically.
Data on government revenues, spending, and debt at the federal, state, and local levels (http://www.taxfoundation.org).
U.S. Census Bureau. Census of Governments. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1972–. Frequency varies.
Numbers and characteristics of governments, including special district governments dealing with subjects such as schools, parks and recreation, and sewage.
——. City Government Finances; Government Finances; State Government Finances. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909–; 1916–; 1965–. Annual.
These three series summarize government finances at the city and state levels; great detail for states and the larger cities.
——. County and City Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1952–. Frequency varies.
Demographic, economic, health, agricultural, and other information about counties, cities, and towns. Presidential voting by county.
——. State and Metropolitan Area Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979–. Frequency varies.
Demographic, economic, health, education, and other data about states and metropolitan statistical areas.
Waters, M. Dane. Initiative and Referendum Almanac. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2003.
History of, arguments about, and compendium of initiatives and referenda in American history.Foreign and Military Policy
Cochran, Thomas B., et al. Nuclear Weapons Databook. Multiple vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1994, 2005.
Comprehensive data on nuclear arsenals. Updated by the “Nuclear Notebook” section in each issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Joint Chiefs of Staff. Military Posture for Fiscal Year [Year]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Annual.
Brief review of all aspects of military preparedness of the United States and of the world military environment.
The Military Balance. London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1959–. Annual.
Statistical analysis of military forces and defense spending; figures given for countries and regional organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Patterns of Global Terrorism. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1983–2003. Annual.
Details on terrorist incidents around the world.
SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). World Armaments and Disarmament: SIPRI Yearbook. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell; New York: Oxford University Press, 1970–. Annual.
Overview of the arms race and efforts to promote disarmament; detailed data on world military spending (http://www.sipri.org).
United Nations, http://untreaty.un.org
A large database of treaties and multilateral agreements. Requires subscription. Also contains references to hard copy publications.
U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1965–2000. Annual (title varies).
A series of statistical accounts of military spending and the arms race.Social Policy
Anderton, Douglas L., Richard E. Barrett, and Donald J. Bogue. The Population of the United States. 3rd ed. New York: Free Press, 1997.
Extensive description of the nation's population characteristics, focusing on the years since 1960; topics include poverty, income, housing, educational attainment, ethnicity, and migration.
Center for American Women and Politics, National Information Bank on Women in Public Office, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu
Various reports provide data on women in public office, electoral turnout of women, and so forth. Both historical and contemporary information.
Heaton, Tim B., Bruce A. Chadwick, and Cardell K. Jacobson. Statistical Handbook on Racial Groups in the United States. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx, 2000.
Contains a broad range of more than four hundred charts and tables on non-Hispanic whites, Native Americans, and African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans.
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, http://www.jointcenter.org
Lists black elected officials by office with summary tabulations on historical trends and comparative state figures.
National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Reports. Previously titled Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Hyattsville, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1952–. Varying numbers annually.
Statistical reports and analyses of various aspects of health.
National Roster of Hispanic Elected Officials, [Year]. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. Annual.
Lists Hispanic elected officials by office and state (http://www.naleo.org).
Pew Hispanic Center, http://pewhispanic.org
Nonpartisan research organization conducting a broad range of demographic studies and opinion data on the Hispanic population in the United States.
The State of Black America. New York: National Urban League, 1976–. Annual.
Yearly review assessing the conditions of blacks in the nation.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1962–. Annual.
Current data on school enrollments, teachers, retention rates, educational attainment, finances, achievement, schools and school districts, federal education programs, and so forth (http://nces.ed.gov).
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. The Condition of Education: A Statistical Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1975–. Annual.
Data survey of trends in elementary, secondary, and higher education. Data portray student characteristics and performance as well as fiscal, material, and human resources deployed in education (http://nces.ed.gov).
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. Annual Energy Review. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977–.
Data on energy supply and disposition, exploration, and reserves (http://eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/contents.html).
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Criminal Justice Statistics. Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1974–. Annual.
Brings together nationwide statistical data on the criminal justice system, public opinion, illegal activities, persons arrested, judicial proceedings, and persons under correctional supervision (http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook).
U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports for the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1930–. Annual.
Variety of charts and tables on types and frequencies of crimes, persons arrested, and law enforcement personnel; several forty-year trends (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm).Economic Policy
The Economic Report of the President. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1947–. Annual.
Reviews the national economic situation; presents a substantial appendix with long time series of critical economic data (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/eop).
The Economist. Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics. 7th ed. New York: Wiley, 2010.
Explains some one hundred indicators, including information on their sources, reliability, and significance; provides guidelines for interpretation.
[Year] Historical Chart Book. Washington, D.C.: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1965–. Annual.
Long-range financial and business data, mostly from series maintained by the Federal Reserve Board.
Office of Management and Budget. Budget of the United States Government. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Annual.
Multivolume annual presentation of data on federal revenues and expenditures. Although the details of the federal budget documents may be numbing to the uninitiated, even the novice might find the Historical Tables useful (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget).
O'Hara, Frederick M. Handbook of United States Economic and Financial Indicators. 2nd ed. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.
Defines several hundred economic indicators culled from over fifty sources; provides information on publication schedules and historical trends.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment and Earnings. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–. Annual.
Various statistics on the nation's nonfarm workforce, including lengthy time series with data beginning in 1909 (http://www.bls.gov).
——. Handbook of Labor Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927–. Frequency varies.
Collection of data on employment, unemployment, earnings, school enrollment and educational attainment, productivity, prices, strikes, and so forth (http://www.bls.gov).
——. Monthly Labor Review. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1915–.
Covers most Bureau of Labor Statistics series, presenting data on employment, hours, pay, strikes, prices and inflation, and so forth (http://www.bls.gov).
U.S. Council of Economic Advisers. Economic Indicators. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1948–. Monthly.
Data on total output, income, and spending; employment, unemployment, and wages; production and business activity; prices, currency, credit, and security markets; and federal finance (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/).
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1937–. Annual.
Vast array of agricultural data, including politically relevant displays such as farm economic trends, price support programs, and agricultural imports and exports.
U.S. Department of Commerce. Survey of Current Business. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1921–. Monthly.
Data on U.S. income and trade developments (http://www.bea.gov/scb/index.htm).
World Bank. World Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978–. Annual.
Analysis of and data on worldwide capital and economic indicators, with an emphasis on development (http://econ.worldbank.org/wdr).