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Government Data: Open, Accessible, and Interesting?

Yes, absolutely interesting! Anyone who's used the American FactFinder to research their neighborhood can attest to that. And, according to a new Pew Research report called Government Online, the number of people who've conducted such research is fairly staggering. 40% of adult users have gone online to research some aspect of government spending or activity.


  • 23% of Internet users have visited sites like Recovery.gov to track how stimulus money is being spent.



  • 22% have read or download the text of legislation, perhaps from sites like Thomas. (Brave souls.)



  • 16% have used sites like Data.gov to find governmental datasets. (Also brave.)


In a turn of happy coincidence or bleeding edge thinking, depending on your viewpoint, Minitex Reference is on top of this curve. We've recently offered several very popular webinars on Census Bureau data, an archived version of which can be viewed here. And we have an upcoming series of sold-out webinars on using government data from the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development to help job-seekers. Sign up for the waiting list and watch for an archived version of that one here.

Update: We just added two more sessions of Census 2010: Power, Money, Data. Sign up now!

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