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Find Statistics, Demographics, and Public Opinion Polls

Introduction to Statistics, Demographics, and Public Opinion Polls

Definitions

It is important to remember that although polls, statistics, and demographic information are separate concepts, the general public often uses them interchangeably. This guide will link you to all kinds of numerical data about people.

poll is a type of survey or inquiry into public opinion through interviewing a random sample of people. When you want to use public opinion in your research, think about the following:
  • Do you need opinion that is current or historical (such as when the event occurred)?
  • Whose opinion was documented? Who was left out? Does this have an effect on the outcome?
  • What was the purpose of collecting this information? Was it to inform or persuade?

statistic is a calculated measurement created from a dataset of a large quantity of numerical data.

demographic is a statistic derived from a study of populations of people. Demography includes the study of size, structure, characteristics, and distribution of populations over space and time.

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Search Tips

Use the following syntax when you are looking for statistics on a .gov and .org site:

  • keywords + statistics + site:.gov (EX: pet owners United States statistics site:.gov) = Spending on Pets Report
  • keywords + statistics + site:.org (EX: pet owners United States statistics site:.org) = U.S. Pet Ownership

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