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Business Problem Research: Search for Statistics in Government Websites

Government agency data or statistics

US government agencies tend to collect more quantitative data than qualitative data. They are looking for the what and not the why. For example, the US government tracks business closure by industry but not the reason that they close.
Keep in mind that the US government will often cite private propriety reports (Gallup, Garnters, etc.). This saves them the time and expense of having to do the research themselves. Always check to see if they are citing their own data or someone else's. Proprietary report data is not considered peer reviewed or a government source. If you have questions about using data from proprietary reports please reach out to your faculty or Chair.

US government agency Google search

The Google search box below includes the term to limit your results to US government websites only. Enter your search string in front of to create your own search. 

For example:

"small business" AND sustainability

Search through government websites

There are a lot of United States government departments websites to dig through. Depending on your research topic and it can be difficult to narrow down to the most relevant sites. I've provided a sample search in Google below to help you narrow your results.

  1. Open up Google
  2. Enter in a search string related to your research topic and include as part of your search string. Using searches through government domain (websites) only.

     I've provided a sample searching string below:

    "small business" AND sustainability
  3. Click Search. The results should all be coming from different government websites or marked as government documentation.
  4.  To limit by date, click on Tools.

  5. Click on Any time and time frame or enter a Custom range....


  1. Once the Custom range... years are entered, the results should be limited to the years provided.

Search for international government statistics

If you are researching your topic outside of the United States, try searching the same terms but include your country's Internet domain. The example below uses the country code for Kenya.

"small business" OR SME AND closure OR failure

Note: Using site: as part of your search string tells Google to search specific websites.

Note: Browse Wikipedia's list of Internet top-level domains to find your country's code.

Make sure to evaluate the credibility and currency of the sources you find. Since no one search will work for every country, think about the language used in your region to describe the concept or topic your researching.

Business & management related US government websites