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When you're not sure where to start, there are several reliable gateways to federal information.
USA.gov --http://www.usa.gov ---This is the starting point for all online U.S. Government agency information. Searching can be done in three different ways-- by keyword, by topic or by government agency.
Starting Points - Places to begin your search
Publications by Topic http://census.gov/library/publications/pubs-by-topics.html - All the census publication documents by topic.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Highlights:
Social Security Administration - The Social Security Administration's Office of Policy is responsible for conducting policy analysis, research and evaluation of Social Security Administration programs. Statistics on federal entitlement programs; Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.
The Economic Report of the President - Sponsored by the President's Council of Economic Advisors.
Federal Reserve Board: Economic Research and Data - http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases The Federal Reserve Board's link to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual statistical releases of interest rates, foreign exchange rates, consumer credit, etc., and selected Federal Reserve Bulletin articles.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) http://nces.ed.gov/ - Major source of U.S. education statistics. Includes the current editions of the government documents, Digest of Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics, and Dropout Rates in the United States.
National Center for Health Statistics http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ - United States health statistics. Includes the government documents: Advance Data from the Vital and Health Statistics, National Health Interview Series, Monthly Vital Statistics Report, and Health United States.
Immigration and Naturalizaton Service
This site provides immigration statistics, as well as state estimates of the United States' illegal alien resident and foreign-born populations.
Government Printing Office http://www.access.gpo.gov - The United States Government Printing Office (GPO) is the federal government's main printer. The GPO disseminates federal government information through its Federal Depository Library Program.
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774 - 1873 A collection in progress
United States House of Representatives -- Committee Links http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house/hclinks.html - GPO's links to information about House committees, with web sites and committee membership lists.
United States Senate -- Committee Links http://www.access.gpo.gov/Congress/Senate/sclinks.html - GPO's links to Senate committee information.
Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov - The Library of Congress' homepage includes links to the U.S. Copyright Office, Library Of Congress Catalog and collections, and other Library of Congress resources: American Memory, Library of Congress online exhibitions.
Office of the Clerk On-line Information Center http://clerk.house.gov/ - This site includes current and historical information about the U.S. House of Representatives. Includes Roll Call Votes from the 101st Congress, 2nd Session (1990) to the present.
Committee Hearings - http://commdocs.house.gov/committees - Provides access to selected full-text Congressional hearings. There is no search engine, therefore, hearings can only be retrieved by committee groupings.
General Accounting Office http://www.gao.gov The General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, audits and evaluates government programs and activities. Online GAO Reports are accessible from this homepage and GPO Access.
Executive Branch - The President is the administrative head of the executive branch of the Government, which includes numerous agencies, both temporary and permanent, as well as the 14 executive departments. The Cabinet is composed of the heads of the 14 executive departments-- the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General.
White House http://www.whitehouse.gov - Includes the White House Gateway to Government http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/ which provides users with sources for information on all branches and agencies of the federal government and the latest government statistics.
Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov - The Food and Drug Administration homepage has a vast amount of consumer health food and drug safety information: Gateway to Food Safety Information http://www.foodsafety.gov
FDA Consumer, the Magazine of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Monthly magazine with informative, useful health-related articles. Includes an archive and search engine.
Food and Nutrition Information Center http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/ - The United States Department of Agriculture's center for food and nutrition information. Includes food pyramid, dietary guidelines, food safety reports and studies.
CIA World Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html - Central Intelligence Agency's compendium of country information, including maps and country flags.
Background Notes http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/index.html - Political, economic, and geographic information for each country provided by the Department of State.
Country Reports: Economic and Trade Practices http://www.state.gov/www/issues/economic/trade_reports/index.html - Prepared by the U.S. State Department to assist members of Congress on trade and economic legislation. The reports provide information on individual country's economic trade policies and practices.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/hrp_reports_mainhp.html - U.S. State Department reports on individual country human rights practices.
The Federal Judiciary Homepage: News and information about the Federal Courts http://www.uscourts.gov - Provides an introduction to the United States court system and how the structure works.
FindLaw Supreme Court Opinions http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html - From Findlaw Inc., Supreme Court opinions from U.S. Reports 150 (1893 - ) to the present. Search options: browse by year, U.S. Reports citation, party name, and full-text.
National Park Service http://www.nps.gov - Part of the Department of the Interior, some of this site's highlights: National Register of Historic Places , NatureNet:The National Park Service's Natural Resource Place on the Web.
Travel Publications https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go.html - The U.S. State Department's travel tips for Americans abroad.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications - Government Printing Office's catalog of depository publications. Items that include electronic format have immediate links.
Government Information Locator Service - GILS records identify public information resources within the Federal Government, describe the information available in these resources, and assist in obtaining the information.
Online Full-text Government Documents
Monthly Labor Review Online - (1989 - present) Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics print publication, Monthly Labor Review, provides analysis & research articles related to employment and unemployment information.
Statistical Abstract of the United States http://www.census.gov/library/publications/time-series/statistical_abstr... full-text version of the popular reference publication.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)- http://www.ftc.gov With a mission to protect federal antitrust laws and protect consumers, the FTC provides access to publications that are useful to consumers and businesses.
Global Education Locator - http://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/ - A quick way to search and locate information about postsecondary institutions, public schools or districts, public libraries, or private schools in the United States.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence - http://www.free.ed.gov/ - Federal agencies joined forces to provide Federal Resources for Academic Excellence--resources for teachers, students, or parents.
United Census 2000, Census in Schools - Census in Schools provides educators with the tools to teach about the people and economy of the United States. (annotation from website) http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/teachers.html
Healthfinder.gov for Kids - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's health information site for children. http://www.healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Population/children
Star Child – NASA's learning Center for young astronomers. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html
ARTSEDGE: The National Arts and Education Information Network - http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/ - established by the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), is a resource for educators and students of the arts.
NASA for Educators http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html - A NASA resource developed especially for educators.
The EPA's Search Your Community Retrievable information by zip code
FBI Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room http://foia.fbi.gov/ - Access to FBI files released through the Freedom of Information Act.
Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms
The Catalog contains Federal domestic assistance programs available to: State and local governments of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
National Science Foundation http://www.nsf.gov/funding/ The National Science Foundation funds research and education in science and engineering, through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Foundation accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.
United States Department of Education - Student Financial Assistance http://www.ed.gov/finaid.html The Department administers several major student aid programs, including Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. Federal Student Financial Aid Homepage http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/index.jsp Useful guide to information about grants, loans, work-study, and tax credits for education and how to apply for them.
National Atlas of the of the United States http://www.nationalatlas.gov/
This program allows you to select and display map layers of the United States.
Envirofacts Maps on Demand https://www3.epa.gov/enviro/ - The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Envirofacts allows you to retrieve environmental information from EPA databases on Air, Chemicals, Facility Information, Grants/Funding, Hazardous Waste, Risk Management Plans, Superfund, Toxic Releases, and Water Permits, Drinking Water, Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence, and Drinking Water Microbial and Disinfection Byproduct Information.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) http://www.usgs.gov/ - Homepage of the United States Geological Survey.