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Marketing: Government and Survey Sources

Starting point for thinking about marketing research assignments and projects and finding helpful secondary (library) resources.

Additional Sources


Several sources listed below may provide a starting point for pinpointing your target market (e.g. tweens or people with children) -- revealing how many of that group exist, where they live, and so on. 

  U.S. Census Bureau  This site provides access to a wealth of demographic data. An example of a report generated from 2000 census data is Demographic Trends in the 20th CenturyThis screenshot shows some of the types of crosstabs given. 


The American Factfinder search engine is your access point for tables on topics such as poverty or other social and economic characteristics in a specific zip code or other geographic area. This site is a work in progress, as the government is trying to simplify the search engine.

People   If one limits to Geography, Ohio, the Topic link for People, and the subtopic Marital Status, one can find a chart for who was born in a different state by the characteristic married, single, divorced as shown in this screenshot or a chart showing how many OH grandparents (married on unmarried) are raising their grandchildren as in this screenshot.

The Process: You select a link from the left sidebar and then click Add in the center search box. As you set search limits or parameters, the upper left corner of the screen will keep track of what you've chosen.


The list of census titles in the center shows documents that you can choose to view and/or download. Click here to see a screenshot of the list.  


Housing     Housing topics include several different aspects. On this site, click on a black header to see an expanded list of subtopics as shown here.    Again you can limit your query to a specific geography -- from zip code to entire United States. Not all subtopics will be available for smaller geographies.




Business   As explained above, making topic and geography selections yields a table like this (screenshot) showing payroll for Wood County Industries by NAICS designation .

 American Community Survey   Intended eventually to replace the 10-year censuses, this source has the most recent federal government information about population and households by metropolitan areas like Cleveland and Detroit. A good starting place is the link to Fact Sheets  leading to an array of datasets for states and cities. Here you can enter a state and city name or zipcode. After viewing the basic facts, you can find more details by clicking on the more link.

·   Screen shot showing links to data options for cities and other geographies.

·    Click here for screen shot of Housing data (an excerpt) for the city of Toledo.

·    Here's a screen shot comparing Housing conditions in the US with those in Ohio over several years.   

Consumer Expenditure Survey     (Bureau of Labor Statistics)  Provides information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics.

The American Marketplace   Marketing analysis of demographic and spending data based on government statistics.  Sections include: Education, Health, Housing, Income, Labor Force, Population, Spending, & Wealth. Search tip: In Lexis Nexis Academic, follow the Sources link on the left side navigation bar. Click Find Sources, enter American Marketplace into the search box and press OK Continue, enter one of the section terms (e.g. Housing) into the search box on the next screen, and press search.  Click here to see a screenshot of sample facts and analysis from American Marketplace. 

Pew Surveys

Pew Research Center: Its slogan is "Numbers, facts, and trends shaping your world". Check the home page for recent studies about topics like those below. (The titles listed below are linked to the full report text.)

The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025 (about wearable "smart" clothing and devices) or

Couples, the Internet, and Social Media   

The Future of Money in a Mobile Age


Your Tax Dollars at Work

·    U.S. Economic Census   The Economic Census profiles the US economy every 5 years, from the national to the local level.

·    The U.S. Census Bureau's County Business Patterns    Gives (1) number of employees, (2) annual payroll, and (3) number of establishments by employment size for SIC groups.

·    North American Industry Classification (NAICS)    Industries organized by NAICS codes.