This section includes links to sources of data and information that help you go further into your exploration of data and issues.


The United States Census Bureau is one of the world's largest sources of data and analysis. In fact, the basic enumeration conducted every 10 years is required by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, section 2). Census Bureau information includes both data from its enumeration conducted every 10 years, as well as various data estimates, analyses and reports. For a summary of the Census Bureau data tools, click here.

One particularly useful census tool is the American Fact Finder which provides relatively easy access to data, and which can be sorted by a wide range of factors, even your own zip code.

An important initiative of the U.S. Census Bureau is the American Community Survey which samples 3 million households annually to provide updates to the 10-year enumeration. Currently, the American Community Survey provides estimates for the nation, states, and individual communities with a population of 65,000 or more.

There are various public and private services that utilize Census information to provide useful analysis, reports and maps. Following are some particularly useful sources.

  • The Social Explorer provides web-based maps illustrating a wide range of demographics down to the census tract level.
  • City includes a wealth of information, from statistics to photographs, for the largest U.S. cities and their surrounding areas.  
  • CensusScope provides quick charts, maps, and rankings for the nation, states, metro areas, and counties.

State Sources is the official website for all branches of the Massachusetts state government and the many departments that serve the commonwealth. Resources for Housing, Healthcare, Education, Tourism and Economic Development are some of the many services they provide.

The Massachusetts Office of Public Safety provides data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which is the replacement data collection system developed by the FBI to take the place of the older Uniform Crime Reporting ( UCR) system.

In Massachusetts, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined into one program called MassHealth (Medicaid). MassHealth members may be able to get doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and many other important services at little or no cost.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides school and district profiles including accountability and assessment data.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Data Center is derived from a compilation of data that reflects key measurement statistics for 29 of the 29 higher education institutions in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Libraries offers over 60 unique online digital collections and catalogs through their Virtual Catalog.

The Mass Cultural Council has reported on the initial and ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the state's cultural sector on their blog.

Mass Audubon provides publications and community resources, such as Losing Ground, a report detailing land conservation and use in Massachusetts.

About Community Indicators

Community foundations around the world use community indicator projects to measure the health of their communities. While programs differ in design, they have a common element: the use of community data to understand and address critical issues. The Community Indicators Consortium provides general information about community indicators and communities using this approach. Vital Signs is a community Indicators program used by many community foundations in Canada. 

Other community indicator projects in Massachusetts include: