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"Where can I find historical economic/financial data for the U.S. or foreign countries?"

  • Datastream (available on-campus only) provides economic, stock, index, commodity, currency, and other data and downloads in Excel format.

  • CEIC Data provides access to 1.2 million macro-economic time series and statistics from over 50 countries.

  • EIU Country Data and Passport GMID contain standardized statistics many countries.

  • Fred, a site of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which provides U.S. and some international data historically.

  • Yahoo! Finance provides substantial U.S. stock and index histories (Type the ticker symbol and click Get Quotes, then click on Profile and scroll down and click the Historical Quote Data link).

If you need to retrieve data prior to the 1970's, contact our research staff.

"I need a kind of data not addressed by this FAQ. Where do I start?"


The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a great way to start gathering data on almost any topic. It pulls in tables from a variety of government and industry data collection agencies. Basic data is supplied with references to orignal sources users can go back to for more detail. Historical editions (1878-2012) of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, published by the U.S. Census, can be found in print and online. provides statistical data generated by many different U.S. government agencies.

"Does the library have access to Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) data?"


Current Cornell students have access to newspaper and journal circulation reports from Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). Ask a Librarian to find out how to access this data.

"What databases are best for statistical research?"


This depends on the type of statistics you are trying to retrieve.

  • Equity and Equity Index data is available in Datastream (available on-campus only) and Yahoo! Finance. Datastream also contains historical, downloadable data on commodities, currencies, country funds, macroeconomic data, and more for countries worldwide.

  • Historical corporate financial statement data is available in many databases. Mergent Online provides financial statements for U.S. and international businesses, and is available remotely. Datastream and Compustat (available via WRDS) contain company accounts data for companies worldwide, but must be used in the library.

  • Demographic or business census data is largely available at the U.S. Census web site.

  • Economic statistics can be downloaded from CEIC, Datastream, International Financial Statistics Online and a number of other databases. Ask a Librarian for the one that will work best with your needs.

  • Market research data can be gathered in spreadsheet format from SimplyMap (3 simultaneous user limit).

"How do I find a company's financial data historically?"


Capital IQ, Mergent Online, and Thomson One Banker provide spreadsheet financials in annual and quarterly format (as reported and/or in standardized templates). Datastream and Compustat, which are not available remotely, have extensive company coverage.

Note: If you need an entire annual report, please read our research guide for Finding Annual Reports.

"Does the library have advertising data?"


The Management Library carries Ad$Summary, which publishes company advertising expenditures at the brand level by medium (newspaper, tv spot, billboard, etc). Marketer’s Guide to Media has statistics on media trends and advertising rates. Superbrands, published as a special issue of Brandweek provides detailed analysis of the top 2000 U.S. brands. Advertising Age is a journal that publishes several special issues each year, such as the annual "100 Leading National Advertisers" report (generally published in June or September).

"How can I find data for Tompkins County (or Ithaca)?"


There isn't one authoritative resource for local statistics. For Tompkins County information, we recommend the following resources, depending on the type of data you need:


  • County Business Patterns provides industry data for Tompkins County. It includes the number of business establishments, number of employees, and payroll figures, all at the industry (up to 4-digit SIC) level.


  • New York State Statistical Yearbook (online) provides county-level demographic data as well as election data, local government finance, health and human service data, and more.


  • CareerSearch to screen for a list of Ithaca or Tompkins County companies.

If you are looking for data specifically on Ithaca, try:


  • The Census Bureau's American FactFinder site for Ithaca data from the most recent Census of Population.


  • Zip Code Business Patterns for business data.


  • CareerSearch to screen for a list of Ithaca or Tompkins County companies (search by zip code).


  • SimplyMap for population, household, income, and spending potential data, with forecasts, available down to the Census block level.


"How can I find market research data?"



  • Mintel contains market research reports on a variety of U.S. industries as well as on certain demographic groups, like teenagers. It provides reports for the UK, US, and some other countries.


  • Gartnerweb provides market research reports on the Information Technology industry.


  • SimplyMap provides demographic analysis of the purchasers of many goods and services, including specific brands.


  • The Lifestyle Market Analyst analyzes the demographics of people with different "lifestyles," e.g. people who travel for business, people who jog regularly, or people who own cats.

For a more complete list of market research sources available at the Management Library, see our market research resources.

"What other sources of aggregate business data are available?"


  The Census collects a variety of information on business in the United States. Access to this data is available via the Bureau's Economic Programs page. Programs include County Business Patterns, Minority & Women-Owned Business, E-Commerce Statistics, and more.

"How can I find Census Data?"


The U.S. Census Bureau collects data on the population and economy of the United States. Well known are the decennial Census of Population and Housing, and the economic censuses which the Bureau conducts every five years. The Bureau also publishes the results of a number of surveys each year, on topics such as crime, health, and poverty.

One of the easiest ways to access U.S. Census statistics is via American Factfinder.