You Can Look It Up

The Statistical Abstract paints the U.S. by the numbers

Want to know how many credit cards Americans carry? Or how many dozen eggs the U.S. produces each year? The answers to these questions (841 million and 5.8 billion, respectively) and an astounding number of others are to be found in a factual gold mine called the Statistical Abstract of the United States, a 984-page volume packed full of figures from the mundane to the delightful. First published in 1878, the Abstract each spring sends librarians, market researchers, consultants and journalists scurrying to mine its nuggets. But the Census Bureau publication goes well beyond gee-whiz numbers. Its 1,450 tables and charts...

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