Data for Journalists



Popular Resources

Places to Start

Statistical Abstract of the US
A compilation of statistical tables from various government agencies. It shows which agency produces the info you want.

New York State Statistical Yearbook
Similar resource to the US Stat Abstract, but for NY State.

The Almanac of NYC (print only)
Basic statistics and information for NY City. Located in Journalism Library Reference: F128.3 .A455 2008

Intro to this Guide

Helping a student in the Journalism Library

This guide will help you find news articles & other journalism resources. Please email, call, or tweet me with any questions (see box at right). I answer frequently asked questions & post popular resources on the Journalism Library Blog.

Journalism Library

  • located in 204 Pulitzer Hall (just off the Stabile Student Center)
  • open 7 days a week (see hours here)
  • books, newspapers, magazines, & last 4 years of CUJ master's projects

CU Journalism Faculty Publications

Data & Maps

New York City Data Maps


NY City Map (from DoITT): Map a neighborhood or intersection, then find nearby subway stops, schools, hospitals, police precincts, and more (user guide here). Also shows municipal boundaries like community districts & census tracts. Other city data maps include:

NYC Data

NYC OpenData: Data from various city agencies is gathered on this page. It’s a great place to start, but it's not comprehensive; not every agency posts all their data here.

USA Data This is the federal (national) version of NYC’s open data website, with data across a wide variety of topics. Browse the dataset catalog:

Dept. of City Planning

NYC Dept. of City Planning (DCP): Includes community district profiles & needs (include census tract maps), commission reports, population reports, & more.


American FactFinder (Census Bureau)
From the U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder is a tool that allows you to build custom searches using existing data tables from the Census Bureau’s many surveys, including the Decennial Census, American Community Survey (ACS), the Economic Census, and more.

NYC Department of City Planning >> Reference >> Population
The NYC DCP has great information on population change and demographic information on New Yorkers, including the foreign-born population of New York. (Data drawn from Census Bureau.)

Social Explorer
This database helps you visually analyze demographic information of the United States through the use of interactive maps and data reports.  Explore thousands of historical data maps, from the first US Census in 1790 to the present. Click on the Maps tab to begin using a vast collection of interactive maps.

Infoshare Online 
How many people live in your beat neighborhood? How many are on public assistance? How many have asthma? What are the crime statistics? Immigration trends? Answer these questions and more with this collection of statistics about NYC. The data can be retrieved by community district number or neighborhood name, covers demographic, health, and socio-economic variables, and in many cases is available for multiple years, which lets you chart trends.  Select Area Profile to begin your data retrieval.


NYC Department of Education data
Enrollment, quality review reports, & HS graduations. Available by city, borough, & each school.

From WNYC and The New York Times, news and data about schools in NYC.

National Center for Education Statistics  


NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

NYS Dept. of Health

NYC Department for the Aging: Demographic Profiles

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Housing/Real Estate

NYC Housing & Vacancy Survey

NYC Dept. of Buildings

Buildings Information System

Find actions (including new building permits), complaints, violations, alterations, CoOs, # buildings on lot, tax block/lot, landmark status, zoning documents, etc. Can also look up a block (or community district) for new buildings or alterations.

NYC Finance: Property Records


Justice, Law, & Public Safety

FBI Crime Statistics
These are compiled from NYPD weekly reports. The NYPD do not archive their data, although weekly stats are available at: NYPD CompStats (Weekly Crime Reports)

NY OpenData: Index Crimes by County & Agency (1990-2011) 
Reports total number per type of crime, per year, per county (borough-level info).

Relevant NYC Crime Reports:

NY State Division of Criminal Justice Services

NY Crime Statistics by County

  • Report on alternatives to incarceration

NYC: Criminal Justice Coordinator

NYC: Dept. of Correction Statistics

NYC: Dept. of Probation

Community Service Society of New York

  • Report on reentry of the incarcerated

Domestic Violence

Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence

Legal Information

Intro to NY Courts
Great introduction to New York State and City courts, including their jurisdictions, claim amounts handled, etc. To find out where court decisions are published for each court, see the NYU Law Library Guide to NY Court System.

Court Decisions
Some decisions (completed cases) can be found in LexisNexis Academic, others in the online NY Court Reporters. If the case isn't covered in either, you may need to go to the Law Library and use either the print Reporters, LexisNexis Pro, or a similar resource.

Pending Cases
The "BLAW" section of the Bloomberg terminal includes pending cases. For help, see the Bloomberg Help Guide or contact the Business Library.


New York State Statistical Yearbook
Voter registrations, political party enrollment, & votes cast in presidential election by county (borough).

CQ Press: Political Reference 
Info on congress, voting & elections, and other political information. Federal level.

NYC City Council

Research Guides for Government Documents @ Columbia

Federal Election Commission
The FEC administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which governs the financing of federal elections.  Campaign finance information is available, through the Disclosure Data Search, searchable by individual contributors, committee contributors/recipients, and candidate name.

NYC Campaign Finance Board

Follow the Money 
Database of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy. 

Campaign Finance Guide (Columbia Libraries)

NYC Independent Budget Office



Bloomberg (Terminal locations: 1 at Journalism, 7 at Watson Library, 1 at Lehman Library.)
Provides current and historical financial quotes, business newswires, and descriptive information on over 52,000 companies worldwide.For help, see: Bloomberg Help Guide

LexisNexis Academic
Source for news, company profiles, and SEC filings. Also has state & federal case law.

Directory listing of U.S. businesses, searchable by county, NAICS, business type, and more.

Economic Census 
Profiles national & local economies/businesses (e.g. number of employees, value of sales, etc.).

Business Research Guides (Columbia Libraries)


The Foundation Center
Foundation Directory: search for 990s, company and grant-maker info, grants, and more.

ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer (find 990s)  

Associations Unlimited 

Nonprofit Organizations Subject Guide (Columbia Libraries)

Economics & Employment

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Reports the unemployment rate, wages, and consumer price index (CPI).

NYC Office of Financial Empowerment

  • Research publications
  • The FE Briefs are good source for charts, particularly on bank accounts & credit card use.

Bureau of Economic Analysis