Statistical Abstract of the United States 2013

Bernan. 2012. 1048p. index. ISBN 9781598885910. $179. Online: Statistical Abstract Database REF
OrangeReviewStarSince the first publication of this work in 1878, generations of librarians and researchers have confidently used it as a first-choice source for their statistical questions, making it the best-known statistical reference work of its kind. When the Census Bureau announced that it would stop publication of the work in 2012 and ProQuest revived it in 2013, concerns began to grow about the content, quality, and scope of information that would be provided in subsequent versions. If ProQuest's first incarnation of the Abstract is a harbinger of future releases, those misgivings can be put to rest. This latest volume is much more similar than dissimilar to earlier editions. The new work continues to include both government and private national, state, and local data. Its organization remains basically unchanged, with the work including a preface, an introduction to each section, and the same 30 sections and their subdivisions. One difference is that new and deleted tables are listed at the front of the book instead of being placed in an appendix (otherwise, the appendixes are identical). Most tables have been retained except for 27 deleted ones that have almost all been replaced with others illustrating equivalent content. There are 39 new tables on a variety of current topics such as same-sex couples, electronic-device ownership, and negative-equity mortgages. Like previous publications, the work concludes with a detailed and extended index.
VERDICT The publisher has changed, but the content and features that made the Abstract such an indispensable and reliable part of reference collections remain intact. Readers in all libraries will continue to find this title to be an essential and convenient resource for addressing their statistical research needs.
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