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Navigating the U.S. Federal Statistical System

Decision-Making Information
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Visual analysis with ProximityOne tools
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visually analyze clients/markets
site analysis using 1 mile radius


$median household income
patterns by census tract - Houston

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113th Congressional Districts

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US Asian Indian population 2010

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geocoded students and school
McKinney ISD, TX

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geocoded students and school
with tax parcels & streets

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high school attendance zones
with schools by type

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%high school graduates by
census tract - Puerto Rico

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Austin, TX MSA counties &
places 10K+ population markers

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Appalachia counties (green) &
coalfield counties (orange)

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China provinces percent urban &
cities (markers) by state plan

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Honolulu census tracts (red)
& census blocks

Central Park area NYC

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Kansas City Metro & Counties
Home Depot locations (markers)

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World Cities; focus on Spain

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Data Analytics Blog
Mapping Statistical Data

Support & Technical Assistance
help using these resources

The U.S. Federal Statistical System offers a vast array of diverse data resources that are useful in wide-ranging planning and analytical applications. Many of these data resources, such as census block level demographics from the decennial census, are unique in scope and content; in many cases there are no alternative data resources.

But there are issues/challenges for the data user to navigate the Federal Statistical System. Examples ... the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases total employment data by county quarterly and monthly through multiple programs. The data values differ, for methodological reasons, but the net result can be confusion for data users. The Census Bureau releases total employment data from many statistical programs by county both annually and more frequently. Where are these alternative total employment data and how can they be accessed? How do these various measures differ and which data are right for my situation? This section provides basic statistical program information. Subsequent updates will provide more detail.

Navigating the Federal Statistical System & Data Access -- see below.
This Guide is updated periodically. Updated information is posted on the Data Analytics Blog. Follow the blog to receive updates and/or join the ProximityOne User Group. Join now to receive e-mail updates and related member benefits.

This section provides an overview of the U.S. Federal Statistical System (FSS) and information that can help stakeholders navigate access to selected types of data produced by the FSS. While the FSS is focused on agencies that collect, develop and make available statistical data, there is a broader set of data and resources that relate to accessing and using these data. As technology and related data analytics resources have evolved, access to and use of these data is closely associated with the development of geographic data by Federal statistical and other agencies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Related Topics
  • Washington Post: How the U.S. National Statistics System Works -- 8/7/17
  • COPAFS September 2017 Meeting Summary .. About COPAFS

The FSS is a decentralized set of agencies that collect, develop and make available statistical and geographic data. The OMB Office of Statistical Programs and Standards (SPS) provides a limited FSS coordinative role. The SPS establishes statistical policies and standards, identifies priorities for improving programs, evaluates statistical agency budgets, reviews and approves Federal agency information collections involving statistical methods, and coordinates U.S. participation in international statistical activities.

While the FSS spans more than 100 agencies, the 13 "principal statistical agencies" have statistical work as their principal mission. The principal statistical agencies include:
  • Census Bureau (Commerce)
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (Commerce)
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics (Justice)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (Labor)
  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics (Transportation)
  • Economic Research Service (Agriculture)
  • Energy Information Administration (Energy)
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service (Agriculture)
  • National Center for Education Statistics (Education)
  • National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/HHS)
  • National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics -- NSF/Independent
  • Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics -- SSA/Independent
  • Statistics of Income (IRS)

There are hundreds of additional ongoing Federal programs (outside of the above agencies) that conduct statistical activities in conjunction with another program mission. These statistical programs are components within a Federal department or other agency. They include a broad set of centers, institutes and organizations in addition to the 13 principal statistical agencies. Many of these programs produce data accessible for public use, some routinely updated, many in a near ready-to-use data file structure suitable for integrating with other data.

There are also Federal agencies whose statistical activities are not part of the Executive Branch. These agencies include the Congressional Budget Office, which develops and applies projection models for the budgetary impact of current and proposed Federal programs; the Federal Reserve Board, which compiles the widely used Flow of Funds report and other statistical series and periodically conducts the Survey of Consumer Finances; and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which uses statistical data in evaluations of government programs.

Navigating Access to Federal Statistical Data
Footnotes (in the form 1,2/ or 2/) refer to additional detail provided shown below the table.
Federal multi-agency/program   related ProximityOne sections
  -- limited integrated data access
  -- most multi-agency/program data in GIS applications
  -- vary widely by data access beyond mapping operation
  - Interactive Data Tables
  - Metro Situation & Outlook Reports
  - State & Regional Data Resources (SRDMI)
  - America's Communities Program (ACP)
  - ProximityOne Data Services (PDS)
  - Situation & Outlook (S&O)
  - Demographic-Economic Data Extraction (DEDE)
  - CV XE GIS -- integrative, ready-to-use GIS projects
  - Guide to Data Resources

Census Bureau   related ProximityOne sections
  - FactFinder primary online access across all programs
  - WWW2-FTP primary FTP downloads for most programs
  ... 1,2/
  Census 2010 -- product overview
  related ProximityOne sections
  - P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data     - P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data
  - Demographic Profile Summary File -- FTP     - Demographic Profile Summary File
  - Summary File 1 FTP     - Summary File 1 & Census blocks
  - Summary File 1 Urban-Rural FTP     - Mapping Urban/Rural Census Blocks/Demographics
  - Summary File 2 FTP     - Summary File 2
  - Public Use Microdata Sample FTP     - Public Use Microdata Sample
  Census 2020
  related ProximityOne section - expanding
  American Community Survey (ACS)   related ProximityOne sections (ACS main)
  - ACS 2016 1-year estimates (latest 1-year estimates)     - ACS 2016 1-year estimates main page
  - ACS 2016 5-year estimates (latest 5-year estimates)     - ACS 2016 5-year estimates main page
  - ACS 2015 1-year estimates     - ACS 2015 1-year estimates main page
  - ACS 2015 5-year estimates     - ACS 2015 5-year estimates main page
  - ACS 2014 1-year estimates     - ACS 2014 1-year estimates main page
  - ACS 2014 1-year supplemental estimates
    .. includes areas with population 30,000 and over
    - ACS 2014 1-year supplemental estimates page
  - ACS 2014 5-year estimates     - ACS 2014 5-year estimates main page
  ... access by FactFinder & downloads via WWW2     - Block groups
      - Census tract interactive tables
      - ZIP Code area interactive tables
      - School district interactive tables
      - City/place interactive tables
      - State, metro, county interactive tables
      - Public Use Microdata Area interactive tables
  - ACS Migration Data     - State to State Migration
    - County to County Migration
  - ACS Daytime Population Data     - City-County-State Daytime Population
    - County-State Daytime Population (2013)
  - ACS Public Use Microdata Sample Files     - ACS 2012 1-year PUMS Files
    - ACS 2013 1-year PUMS Files
  Other Statistical Surveys   related ProximityOne sections
  - Current Population Survey CPS: joint Census/BLS
  - custom estimates & analyses
  - Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP
  - custom estimates & analyses
  Small Area Estimates (model based)   related ProximityOne sections
  - Annual population estimates
    .. includes annual births, deaths, migration; county up
  - County estimates dataset, profiles, interactive 1,2/
    .. get county profile; example for Cook County, IL
  - City/place estimates dataset, interactive table
  - Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE)   - custom estimates & analyses
  - Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates (SAIPE)   - custom estimates & analyses
  Economic Statistics   related ProximityOne sections
  - Economic Census   - custom estimates & analyses
  - Economic Indicators   - custom estimates & analyses
  - County Business Patterns   - Business Patterns 1,2/
  Geography   related ProximityOne sections
  - TIGER/Line Files   - TIGER/Line
    .. TIGER 2017
    .. integrating with OpenStreetMaps
    .. Digital Map Database
  - ACS 2014 Geography/Geocodes   - used in applications & analyses
  - ACS 2013 Geography/Geocodes   - used in applications & analyses
  - TIGER 2014 Generalized Shapefiles FTP   - used in applications & analyses
  - Metropolitan Area Definitions
    .. defined based mainly on Census-sourced data
  - Metropolitan Areas
  - 2013 Vintage Metropolitan Areas
    .. get metro profile; example for Chicago metro
    .. 2015 Metropolitan Area Updates   - 2015 Metropolitan Area Updates
  - 2010 Public Use Microdata Areas
    .. statistical tabulation areas 100,000 population+
  - 2010 Public Use Microdata Areas
    .. get PUMA maps; profiles example for Texas

Bureau of Economic Analysis   related ProximityOne sections
  - Local Area Personal Income   - Regional Economic Information System 1,2/
  - State Personal Income   - State Personal Income 1,2/
  - Metro GDP   - Metro GDP 1,2/
  - State GDP   - used in applications 1,2/
  - Gross Domestic Product   - used in applications 1,2/

Bureau of Labor Statistics   related ProximityOne sections
  - Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX)   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - Consumer Price Index (CPI)   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - Census of Employment & Wages (CEW)   - Establishments, Employment & Earnings 1,2/
  - Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAU)   - Local Area Employment Situation 1,2/
  - Current Employment Statistics - National   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - Current Employment Statistics - State & Area
    ... State & Metro Area Employment, Hours & Earnings
  - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - Current Population Survey
    ... see also under Census Bureau
  - custom estimates & analyses 2/

Economic Research Service USDA   related ProximityOne sections
  - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)   - SNAP participation and benefit analyses

National Agricultural Statistics Service   related ProximityOne sections
  - County Annual Production Data   - agricultural market analyses

Energy Information Administration   related ProximityOne sections
  - U.S. Energy Mapping System
  - energy-related market analyses
  - Electric Power Plant Data (EIA-923)
  - energy-related market analyses
  - Crude Oil Pipelines shapefile
  - energy-related market analyses

National Center for Education Statistics   related ProximityOne sections
  - Common Core of Data school districts   - School Districts Datasets & Interactive Table
  - Common Core of Data schools   - Public Schools Datasets & Interactive Table
  - School District Special Tabulation   - School District Special Tabulation

National Center for Health Statistics   related ProximityOne sections
  - Bridged-Race Population Estimates   - Single Year of Age Demographics 2/
  - County-Level National Mortality File   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - Mortality Tables   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - NCHS County Urban-Rural File   - custom estimates & analyses
  - National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey   - custom estimates & analyses
  - National Health Interview Survey   - custom estimates & analyses

Health Resources Services Administration (HHS)   related ProximityOne sections
  - Area Resource Files
  - custom estimates & analyses
  - Health Professional Shortage Areas
  - custom estimates & analyses
  - Medically Underserved Areas
  - custom estimates & analyses
  - Primary Care Service Areas
  - custom estimates & analyses
  - National Survey of Nurse Practitioners
  - custom estimates & analyses

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services   related ProximityOne sections
  - HospitalCompare registry of Medicare hospitals
  - component of national hospitals database
      County Health Patterns
  - PhysicianCompare registry of Medicare physicians
  - component of national physicians database
      County Health Patterns

Federal Housing Finance Agency 5/   related ProximityOne sections
  - Housing Price Index metro, state, U.S.   - Housing Price Index 1,2/

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 6/   related ProximityOne sections
  - Institution Summary of Deposits   - Financial Institutions Markets

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council   related ProximityOne sections
  - FFIEC Census and Demographic Data   - used in applications

Federal Bureau of Investigation   related ProximityOne sections
  - Uniform Crime Reports   - used in applications

IRS Statistics of Income   related ProximityOne sections
  - County to County Migration   - custom estimates & analyses 2/
  - ZIP Code Income   - custom estimates & analyses
  - County Income   - custom estimates & analyses

1/ augmented source data are component of PDS
2/ augmented source data are component of S&O
5/ FHFA: independent agency; regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.
6/ FDIC: independent agency

ProximityOne User Group
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Support Using these Resources
Learn more about accessing and using demographic-economic data and related analytical tools. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session. There is no fee for these one-hour Web sessions. Each informal session is focused on a specific topic. The open structure also provides for Q&A and discussion of application issues of interest to participants.

Additional Information
ProximityOne develops geodemographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data. Follow ProximityOne on Twitter at Contact us (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.

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