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Mat-Su College: Statistics

A library guide for students enrolled in Mat-Su College statistics courses.

Sites with statistical data

Google search tips

Statistical information is often published by governments or other non-profit organizations. Typically this is available on the internet for free. This statistical information can be found with Google or any other search engine. You can make your searching even easier by using a few search tips.

Limit your searches to a certain domain or website:

Google and other search engines let you restrict your search to certain addresses. You can use this in a number of ways.

First, you may know that many U.S. government websites have addresses that end in .gov. You can tell Google to search .gov sites -- and only .gov sites -- by using the site option. Just add to your search terms:

Screenshot of Google with the limit applied

Only .gov websites appear:,,, etc.

Second, maybe you know you only want to look at one government agency's site. If you know that agency's website, you can again use the site: option. Here I will search only the Bureau of Labor Statistic's website by using and my search terms:

Screenshot of Google search results with the limit applied

Now only pages on the site appear.

Limit your searches to a certain type of file:

Google can search for more than just websites. It can be used to search for files! You just need to use the filetype: option.

Statistical data is often shared as spreadsheet files. Spreadsheet files often have extensions like .xls, .xlsx or .csv. Therefore, if you wanted to find spreadsheets on test scores in Alaska, you might try a search like one of these:

  • alaska test scores filetype:csv
  • alaska test scores filetype:xlsx
  • alaska test scores filetype:xls

This works pretty well, as you can see here:

Google search results for the search filetype:xlsx alaska test scores. It shows two results that are xlsx files.

Using both filetype: and site:

Sometimes it might be handy to search one domain (or even one site) for just one type of file. For example, you could search only the site for only .csv files by using this search: math test scores filetype:csv