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Business Research Resources for "Non-Business-y" Types: Consumer Demographics & Statististics

An accompanying guide to the Enriching Scholarship presentation of the same name:

Get Started Quick!


The New Strategist publishing house puts out a lot of great titles related to consumer demographics and spending, like:

Click HERE to get to browse "New Strategist" search results in U-M Library Catalog Search...many of the titles are available as eBooks.

Consumer Demographics & Statistics Research Tips

Don't forget to search for data in articles—ABI/Inform, etc.  

  • Try adding different terms like "target market" or "consumers" or "customers" or "consumer behavior” or “attitudes” or "demographics" to your topic.
  • For industry statistics, add in terms like "data" or "statistics"


Demographics & Statistics Research Resources

DataPlanet Statistical Datasets

  • Formerly ProQuest Statistical Datasets, you can find quite a bit of data here, from macroeconomic indicators to health and vital statistics to a number of industry topics. 

Proquest Statistical Abstract of the United States

  • Lots of data on industries, consumers and more.

Social Explorer

  • Create maps and reports based on decennial censuses of 1940 to 2010
  • Also contains American Community Surveys and religious congregation data.

Other Demographics & Statistics Research Resources

Statistical Abstract of the US

  • Use the old online version to find sources of data quickly--browse through the categories or go straight to the PDF version and look through the index.

U.S. Census Bureau- American Fact Finder

  • Under the catagory People is population data for the entire U.S. and some demographic maps by state.
  • Look up the number of establishments, sales, payroll, and employees for an industry using Economic Fact Sheet for an Industry under Business and Government.
  • For city or county level data use the American Community Survey under Data Sets.
  • Offers additional demographic data on government employment, county business patterns, and more.
  • Also useful is the page on the Census site for population projections.

American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing.

Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends

  • Data on behaviors and attitudes of Americans in their daily lives.  Check out the Pew Research Center's full site for additional topics.

Nielsen reports

  • With free registration, you can download a number of reports on consumer behavior from Nielsen.

Finding Statistics guide

  • Additional guidance from MLib