Agricultural Statistics

by Adam Siegel – April 17, 2020

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Statistics for agricultural output and market value are kept by a variety of different agencies.  For the state of California, county agricultural commissioners issue annual reports.  These reports inform the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and contribute to the Census of Agriculture.  Much of the older statistical material is only available in print, particularly county reports.  Many of these reports are held at the Agricultural and Resource Economics Library.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA) relies on county and federal agricultural statistics.  Its Marketing Services maintains its own statistical offices for commodities such as milk and dairy products.  For international  information, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) maintains its own statistics.

Adam Siegel

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In this Guide:

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service “Quick Stats” statistics database. Select U.S., state, or county data for crops, livestock and other agricultural commodities. Query database by geographic area, search by commodity, or view data in charts or maps. Data sets include Census of Agriculture.

California County Agricultural Commissioners’ Reports from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This collection consists of annual crop and livestock data from each of the 58 California Counties. The collection covers 1915-1981.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a one-volume, comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. The government-published Statistical Abstract of the U.S. was discontinued following publication of the 2012 edition.

Database decommissioned
Coverage: Data sets are current and include 2000 Census and some 1990 Census data and American Community Survey data.
Tags: Census, Economics, Social Science, United States Of America
Related links: American FactFinder: How do I find all the Census Tracts in a Place?

Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) is the long-awaited 4th edition of the landmark government reference tool, last published in 1975. This expanded digital edition (available also as a five-volume print edition) updates and expands the original tables and introduces dozens of new topics. HSUS was culled from more than 1,000 sources to produce nearly 2,000 tables containing some 37,000 time series covering virtually every quantifiable dimension of American history: agriculture, population, the economy, government, welfare and work. Some data from the 1975 edition have been extensively revised, and data determined to be unreliable or inaccurate have not been included. Each series is fully documented and placed in historical context by a scholar in the field. Tables can be downloaded and viewed, as well as graphed and merged into custom tables.

The 5-volume print edition of Historical Statistics of the United States is available in Shields Library Gov Info Reference and H/SS Reference (HA202 .H57) and the Agricultural and Resource Economics Library (HA202 .H57 2006)

Annual statistical compendia from the Census Bureau through 2012. Continued by the commercially published (Proquest) Statistical Abstract of the U.S. Census has the Statistical Abstract in pdf online back to 1878.

Coverage: 1878-2012

Free access to detailed global trade data. UN Comtrade is a repository of official trade statistics and relevant analytical tables. It contains annual trade statistics starting from 1962 and monthly trade statistics since 2010.

FAOSTAT is produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  FAOSTAT provides free access to food and agriculture data for over 245 countries and territories and covers all FAO regional groupings from 1961 to the most recent year available.  Topics include food and agricultural production and trade, fisheries, land use and irrigation, fertilizers and more. The comprehensive databases cover many countries over long periods of time.

Tags: Agriculture

The World Bank’s Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data. The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank data sources. This listing will continue to be updated as additional data resources are added. These resources include databases, pre-formatted tables and reports. Each of the listings includes a description of the data source and a direct link to that source. Where possible, the databases are linked directly to a selection screen to allow users to select the countries, indicators, and years they would like to search. Those search results can be exported in different formats. Users can also choose to download the entire database directly from the catalog.

Tags: Economics

The IMF Statistical Databases include International Financial Statistics, Direction of Trade Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, and Balance of Payments Statistics.

Approximately 32,000 time series covering more than 200 countries starting in 1948.

ProQuest Statistical Insight combines Index and abstract records previously available from print indexes: American Statistics Index (ASI) from 1973, and Index to International Statistics (IIS)from 1980. ProQuest Statistical Insight enables searching indexes and tables for statistics produced by the U.S. government and major international organizations. The database includes some statistical tables as well as abstracts, or summaries, of statistical publications. The Library has many of the publications indexed in print or electronic format.

Covers publications in statistics and related fields. CIS is a joint venture of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Coverage: 1974-present
Tags: Math, Statistics

OFFSTATS provides links to free official statistical data sites from around the world. Find statistics by country, regional or topic. Links are to official statistical agencies in countries, international organizations, and other organizations.OFFSTATS is sponsored by the University of Auckland Library.

This resource aggregates the statistical abstracts of more than 50 countries and makes the content available through a single-search interface. These statistical abstracts are generally issued by the national statistical offices of foreign governments and contain country-level data not easily found elsewhere.

Also includes data from the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, World Development Indicators, and Key Figures on Europe.

Coverage: 1878-2012
Tags: Multidisciplinary

UNdata is an internet-based data service which brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point from which users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN System.

Related links: ,


China Data Online is the primary data source for China studies. It includes (1) China Statistical Databases; and (2) China Census Databases; It provides easy access to the various statistical yearbooks published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, comprehensive statistics, and Census data of economy and population at national, provincial, city, county, and even township levels.