Sources of Demographic Information

Statistical Datasets (Proquest)
Visualize data, such as Graduation Rates Among Black Non-Hispanic Students in Pennsylvania.

Pew Research Center - wealth gap report (2011)

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies - The "Joint Center"  works to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination, with the goal of improving the socioeconomic status of African Americans and other people of color.

U.S. Census Bureau

American FactFinder – search topics, geographies, population groups

U.S. Census Bureau - poverty data

U.S. Census Bureau - race data

Philadelphia/PA Data and Research - connect to city departments in upper right search box

Pennsylvania Department of Health- Statistics and Research

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Central Philadelphia Development Corporation – reports and information

Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project (Temple University)
         - For example, topic report: Housing Market Data, 2001-2006


Philadelphia Public School Notebook

More web sources for Philadelphia informantion

Boston/MA Data and Research

City of Boston, City Council

Public Health

Housing Policy Development & Research

Crime Statistics

Public Schools

About Black Boston

Boston Indicators Project
     - For example, Home ownership and access to mortgages by race, Boston

More web sources for Boston information


Article Databases

Use these resources to investigate federal policies.  You may also find articles related to state and city policies.

America: History and Life (Ebsco)
Find scholarly articles about the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. For example, see these results for a search of housing policy and African-Americans. 

African American Studies Center Online (Oxford)
Check out subject entries such as Society of Friends (Quakers) and African Americans, or biographical entries such as Cecil Bassett Moore.  Also includes images and multimedia.

CQ Electronic Library (CQ Press)
Combines many resources for research in American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs. Access is provided to Congress and the Nation, Historic Documents Series, Political Handbook of the World, Supreme Court Yearbook, Vital Statistics on American Politics and the Washington Information Directory.

Opposing Viewpoints Resources in Context (Gale)
Get a full perspective on pertinent issues such as School Violence.


Research current issues related to your policy at the national, state, and local levels.

Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
A comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

ProQuest Newspapers
Includes coverage of 27 newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, plus other important U.S., international and minority interest papers.

  • Includes the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Alternative Press Index (EBSCO)
Alternative Press Index is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals. API provides access to the emerging theories and practices of radical social change with coverage both international and interdisciplinary. Coverage begins in 1991.



More Resources

Government Resources

U.S. Government Accountability Office - Evaluates and analyzes policies of the U.S. Government

U.S. Government Departments - Investigate the department related to your policy issue, i.e. - Department of Labor, Department of Education, Department of Justice, etc.  The White House also issues policy statements.

State Government Departments - Most states have governmental departments parallel to those of the federal government.  Cities may also have thier own departments or governmental organizations.

City of Philadelphia Ordinances

Also check the websites of elected leaders to review their policy positions and initiatives.


The library's print collection is a good place to investigate the history and implication of different policies. 

Go to the Search tab, then Books & More.  Type your keywords in the search bar.  Use the suggestions on the right to narrow your search.

For example, see the search results for public policy unemployment.

Dissertations & Theses

Dissertations & Theses Full Text

Scholars working on their Masters or Doctoral theses sometimes focus on issues related to the area where they are studying.  You may be able to find policy analysis related to the city you are studying.




APA Style

Publication manual for the American Psychological Association - Available for use in the library, this is the official guide to APA style.