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Last Updated: Mar 19, 2013 URL: http://guides.lib.virginia.edu/govt-plan Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Demographic Data

The list of government resource below is not comprehensive.  It is meant to convey the wealth of resources available from the U.S. government.  Of course, see the Planning Subject Guide for more information on U.Va. Library resources.

  • American Community Survey - U.S. Census
    Replacing the decennial census "long form" this annual survey provides detailed data on the population, including income, education, race, sex, living situations, disabilities, and much more.
  • American Factfinder
    Primary Census tool for exploring the decennial census, American Community Survey, and economic censuses.
  • Census Bureau
    Quick Facts will give a demographic, economic and social overview of a state, county, or city. CenStats pulls together some often requested data collected by the Census.
  • USA Counties
    Demographic and housing information by county.
  • Social Explorer
    Interactive Maps and Reports provide easy access to demographic information about the United States. Data comes from the Census beginning in 1940 and from the Religious Congregations and Membership Study beginning in 1980.
    Social Explorer contains much the same information as American Factfinder and is much easier to use.

Labor & Employment

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics - Labor
    Use the "Subject Areas" drop down to find information on the Consumer Price Index, American Time Use Survey, workplace injuries, unemployment and more. You can download some data. Their beta Geographic Home Page pulls together information by state.
  • Department of Labor
    Much more than the unemployment rate.
  • On the Map - Local Employment Data - Census
    A Local Employment Data Mapping program that will let you input whatever geographical area you want, and it will give you employment data for the people who live and work there. All the data can be downloaded for SPSS, etc. as well as for GIS. Includes user-friendly interface and usable help. See also the other Data Tools on the LED page.
  • County Business Patterns - Commerce
    "County Business Patterns (CBP) is an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. This series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll. This data is useful for studying the economic activity of small areas; analyzing economic changes over time; and as a benchmark for other statistical series, surveys, and databases between economic censuses. Businesses use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. Government agencies use the data for administration and planning."

Housing & Building

Transportation & Land Use

Energy & Environment

  • Energy Department
    DoE's home page has a couple of energy calculators - "How Much Do You Spend?" and "How Much Do You Use?" There's also a "Find out about your Community?" which includes energy tax breaks, grants and other information.
  • Environmental Protection Agency
    EPA is the agency with primary responsibility for protecting our environment. It provides a number of specific tools for investigating and monitoring specific pollutants and dangers. A few of these tools are listed separately on this guide, but many more are available at EPA's website. The "My Environment" search on the home page offers a variety of environmental information by zip code. A Facility Search ("More Searches" under "MyEnvironment") offers even more data by zip code. Click on "More Topics" to see an A-Z list of topics, such as Green Building.
  • Toxic Release Inventory
    "TRI is a database containing data on disposal or other releases of over 650 toxic chemicals from thousands of U.S. facilities and information about how facilities manage those chemicals through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment." A zip code search is available on this page. The Data & Tools provides a number of ways to research the TRI data.
  • Underground Storage Tanks
    One of the specific hazards regulated by EPA. Individual states have primary authority over USTs. The site includes a Where You Live tool that provides information on state programs and contacts.
  • EPA Superfund Sites
    Information on Superfund sites and cleanup. A Superfund search is available. In addition to Superfund sites it list some non-Superfund cleanup efforts.
  • Interior Department
    Both the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service are a part of Interior. The NPS oversees a Historic Preservation Planning Program. BLS oversees management of public lands, particularly in the west, for energy, grazing, recreation, rights-of-way, and other public uses.
  • Geospatial Data Gateway - USDA
    Portal for GeoSpatial data to the county level for land use, elevation, conservation easements, etc.
  • Food Deserts - USDA
    "Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food." The USDA is working to identify and assist these areas. Their Food Desert Locator Tool maps and provides economic and demographic information for known "food deserts."

Education & Crime

General Stats, Regs, Grants

  • FedStats
    Finding aid for statistics produced by the U.S. Government. Search by topic, agency, or geographic region.

  • Grants.gov
    Information all grants and other funding opportunities available from the federal government. Clink on "Find Grant Opportunities" to search, browse by category, and browse by agency.
  • Regulations.gov
    Find out about new federal regulations that might affect planning activities.

Virginia & Local Governments

State & local governments oversee zoning and other land use matters.  This is not a comprehensive list.

Contact Information

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Barbie Selby
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