Accessing Virginia Statistics on the InternetBy Mary Dessypris
Trying to find the right site for statistics on the Internet can be a frustrating experience. It may also turn out to be time-consuming, even when using search engines. The search becomes easy, efficient, and quick, when one knows the web site that provides the information sought. This article is intended to point to the Internet sites with helpful statistics, which may be useful to small or branch libraries that do not have access to many printed sources. To access most of these files the Acrobat Reader software should be installed. This software allows the reader to view files in Portable Document Format (pdf). This software is free and available on the Internet. Sites which maintain their data in pdf format usually provide a link to access Acrobat Reader.
Quick overviews on Virginia figures:
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Click on: The Facts and Regional Views.
Even though this is a commercial site, it is a very useful resource because it gives pertinent economic and demographics information by zip code. This is a free site.
For in-depth information on Virginia statistics on a variety of subjects check:
Cooper Center for Public Service
This is the most important web site for business, demographics, and economics in Virginia. VaStats, as the site is known, is a web page developed and maintained by the Business and Economics Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. The Center publishes The Virginia Statistical Abstract and makes available online some of the information included in this publication. With a click on a subject, a menu of choices appears. The information displayed consists of tables developed by the Center or links to federal and/or state sites that compile the information.
Available from the Bureau of Census, this page provides for each community the following data:
As new statistical information is compiled it is made available on the Internet.
- Coordinates for each county and city,
- Access to the Tiger Map file,
- Population, demographic, and housing information from the 1990 U.S. Census,
- Population estimates for all counties in Virginia,
- Income and poverty data,
- Economic Census (1992),
- County Business Patterns Economic Profile: 1993-1996,
- USA Counties General Profile 1994-1996,
- State Abstract,
- Government Finances(1996).
In addition to the above sites, a number of other agencies provide statistics on specific topics:
Labor Market Information
This site is maintained by the Virginia Employment Commission. The data displayed are produced by the Economic Information Services Division in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The State Data Center, another division of VEC, works closely with the Bureau of Census and develops Virginia's population projections:
- Monthly Unemployment Press Release,
- Monthly Nonfarm Employment Press Release,
- Labor Force Components,
- Annual Average Unemployment Rates,
- Latest Occupational Employment Statistics,
- Population Estimates,
- Virginia Economic Indicators.
Monthly Revenue Data
The Office of the Secretary of Finance makes available on the Internet the official monthly communication of the Secretary to the Governor on revenue figures and provides a description of the economic status of the Commonwealth.
Virginia Outlook is a publication of the Bureau of Business Research at the College of William and Mary School of Business Administration. The school maintains the most recent issues in an electronic version. Virginia Outlook forecasts new trends and provides an in-depth analysis of the economic status of the state and the six largest metropolitan areas.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond / Monetary Policy and Business Conditions
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond provides crucial economic information on the fifth district, which includes Virginia. This page links to the quarterly Region Focus, manufacturing and service sector surveys, and the Beige Book which provides overviews of economic conditions on the national and regional level.
The University of Virginia maintains the following databases with national and Virginia statistics:
Geospatial and Statistical Data Center
The Geospatial and Statistical (Geostat) Data Center was formed in 1998 with the merger of the Social Sciences Data and Geographic Information Centers. Click on "Interactive Data" on the left navigational bar to access a wealth of statistical data divided in four categories:
- Social, Demographic and Political Data,
- Domestic Economic Data,
- International Economic Data,
- Education and Health Data.
Regional Economic Information System
The REIS database, produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and accessible from the above Domestic and Economic Data category, provides local area economic data for states, counties, and metropolitan areas for 1969-1996. Summaries are provided for each area as well as detailed statistics on personal income and earnings, full and part-time employment, transfer payments, and farm income and expenses.
The Election Results Index
Available from the Virginia Board of Elections, the information covers the years 1996-1998.
U.S. and Virginia Election Data
This site contains current and historic data available from the University of Virginia. Two files are available: Virginia Election Data 1984-1996 and US Election Data 1788-1900.
The Virginia file permits the user to get detailed data to the precinct level for the election returns of the following offices: President, Senator, Representative, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and General Assembly (Senate and House). The file on U. S. Elections includes the election returns for over 90% of the elections for President, Governor, and United States Representative from 1824-1990, as well as United States Senator from 1912-1990. In addition, the records for approximately two-thirds of the returns for federal and gubernatorial elections from 1788-1823 are included.
United States Historical Census Data Browser 1790_1970
This database was originally created by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Now available for browsing through the University of Virginia, it "describes the people and the economy of the United States on the state and county level from 1790 to 1970". After selecting the year, variables must be chosen from the different categories of data that were collected in each given year, and then one is given the choice of viewing the data by state or county level.
The Virginia Department of Education Data
The Department makes available on the Internet detailed statistical data about Virginia's elementary and secondary education system. They are:
- Fall Membership (1993---1998) (includes state summary and data by grade and ethnicity),
- Report of Graduates (1996/7-1997/8),
- Report of Dropouts (1996/7-1997/8),
- Annual School Report. Statistical (1996/7-1997/8),
- Triennial Census. 1999 School Census,
- Assessment Reports.
The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia / Facts and Figures
The Department maintains online files that describe the status of Higher Education in Virginia. They are:
- The Statistical Summaries (enrollment in Virginia's public and private colleges and universities),
- Academic Performance Characteristics (describes the performances of freshmen in the public and private colleges and universities),
- Completions (degrees awarded),
- Degrees Inventories (by institutions, by program areas and historic information),
- Enrollment Summaries ( On/Off campus, Full/Part Time, In/Out State, Race, Age Groups, and Student Level),
- Finances (Tuition Fees and Room and Board).
Virginia Public Access Project
This is a non-profit, non-partisan web site that makes available to the public campaign contributions to Virginia politicians. It can be searched by the candidate's or contributor's name.
Virginia Voter Net
This site is maintained by the newspaper Virginian-Pilot. It is a constantly evolving site. Even though the focus of the site is the Hampton-Roads area, it is a great resource during elections time with ample information on candidates and final results. The 1997 archive is still available.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) makes available a Fact Sheet with figures on alcohol-related facts and accidents
Virginia Crash Facts in Brief
and a file on Beverage Sales
Crash Statistics for Virginia
The Department of Motor Vehicles maintains a searchable database on accident statistics in Virginia. The database includes figures for 1995-1997 so far, and may be searched by city, county, town, or by DMV district.
The Virginia Center for Health Statistics provides a number of files with statistics on births and deaths. Marriage figures are not available.
The Virginia Uniform Crime Reporting Program
The Virginia State Police makes available the most recent edition of Crime In Virginia on its web site. This publication reports facts and trends of crimes in the Commonwealth. To access it scroll down on the left navigational bar and click on Crime in Virginia.
The Uniform Crime Reports
Data for Virginia and the U.S. (1990-1995) are available through the University of Virginia.Addresses were verified as of August 1999.
Mary Dessypris is Government Services and Outreach Librarian in the Archival and Information Services Division of the Library of Virginia.