Resources

National Data Sources

The United States Census Bureau is one of the world’s largest sources of data and analysis. The basic data collection conducted every 10 years is required by the U.S. Constitution and provides population reporting, various data estimates and analyses in both English and Spanish. One particularly useful Census tool is the American Fact Finder, which provides the ability to search data and reports by many factors, including demographic types and 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 between each 10-year data collection. Currently, the American Community Survey provides estimates for the nation, states, and individual communities with a population of 65,000 or more.

The United States Department of Health & Human Services maintains a trove of information and statistics on national and state rates of child abuse and neglect.  Demographic data on perpetrators and victims can be found, as well as rates of various types of abuse.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) provides helpline access and treatment resources for suicide, substance abuse and opioid treatment programs. SAMSHA also focuses on the development of national data standards that provide the basis for uniform, comparable, high-quality statistics on mental health services, making it a model in the health care statistics field.  Data is available on mental health and substance abuse services including treatment satisfaction and recurrence.

State and Local Data and Information Sources

Pa.gov is the official website for all branches of the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system provides PA UCR Reports on annual basis as well as providing monthly or custom reports.

In Pennsylvania, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are managed through Department of Human Services, DHS provides a monthly data report on benefit metrics. An online application portal, COMPASS, allows people to apply for benefits from many health and human service programs.

PA Libraries

Power Library offers online access to digital collections of a statewide database of library catalogs. POWER Library is the online portal to all that Pennsylvania libraries offer, including electronic databases, digital collections, and a 24/7 live chat service.

About Community Indicators

Communities across the United States and internationally use community indicators projects like Berks Vital Signs 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 community indicators and communities using this approach. Jacksonville, Florida was one of the earliest communities to use community indicators. The Jacksonville Community Council provides research and information on the value of community indicators. Vital Signs is a community Indicators program used by many localities in Canada. Other projects include:

Resources by Topic

More specific resources for each topic included in this project are accessible through each topic.