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Data Resources, Data Visualization, and Data Literacy: Resources by Subject

An instructor’s guide to using St. Louis Fed resources in the classroom and at the library

Guide to this page

FRED, GeoFRED, and FRASER support not just economics but many other subject areas as well. Students can find data and information related to topics such as sociology, geography, history, demographics, government, international studies, current events, economics, and finance. Each box on this page presents examples of FRED data series, GeoFRED maps, and FRASER documents that are relevant for each of these subjects. We've also included links to relevant lessons and activities for those teaching these subjects.

Sociology

FRED

Look for FRED series related to sociology in the Population, Employment, & Labor Markets category. There you'll see series on employment, education, and income distribution. If you browse FRED by Source, you can find all the data FRED has from the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes series on poverty, households, income inequality and more. Or starting with the U.S. Regional Data you can first go to the state, county, or MSA you are interested in to find series on demographics such as education levels.

Check out these FRED Blog posts for ideas on how to make the most of FRED:

Some examples of FRED Series for sociology:


GeoFRED

Demographic data are also good to view on a map. If you're in FRED, look for a direct link to GeoFRED underneath the graph in Related Content. Otherwise visit GeoFRED and "Build a new map." Use the left-hand Tools Menu to select a series.

Map Examples:


FRASER

Two popular items on FRASER are the Budget of the U.S. Government and the Economic Report of the President.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletins offer snapshots of the history of the American workforce. 

See how jobs have changed over time with the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1949-2010 

Finance

FRED

Find financial market data on FRED in the Money, Banking, and Finance category. There you'll find data from the Board of Governors on the money supply and commercial lending as well as stock and bond market indexes. Also browse the Prices category for data on commodities and cryptocurrencies. Finally, the International Data category includes financial data in the Indicators sub-category.

Some FRED series for finance: 

Check out these FRED Blog Posts:


GeoFRED

Some finance related maps you can find in GeoFRED:


FRASER

Some popular financial publications in FRASER:

Lesson plans and classroom activities relevant to finance:

Demographics

FRED

FRED has plenty of demographic data especially from the Census and the Current Population Survey. Look for FRED series related to demographics in the Population, Employment, & Labor Markets category. Or starting with the U.S. Regional Data you can first go to the state, county, or MSA you are interested in to find series on demographics such as education levels.

Check out this FRED Blog post:


GeoFRED

Much of this data can be mapped in GeoFRED. Click the map below to explore 2017 Median Age of the Population by County. 

Other GeoFRED Maps for demographics:


FRASER documents for Demographics:

International Studies

FRED

FRED has a large amount of international data from the OECD, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank plus some other sources like Eurostat and the Penn World Table. Check out these FRED Blog posts on International Data on Refugee and Migrant Populations, and Comparing quality of education in the United States and China.

Interesting international series:


GeoFRED

Some examples of international series on GeoFRED:


 

FRASER

 

You can find information on the history of banking systems of other countries in the National Monetary Commission works. (c.1911)

Some of the BLS bulletins are comparative or focus on other countries, (particularly UK/GB, France, and Germany; there are two on various countries in Africa) 

Some countries are listed in FRASER because nationally-chartered US banks had branch banks or international agencies there and submitted statements of condition (call reports), but some unexpected places have real content, like Women Workers in Paraguay : Women's Bureau Bulletin, No. 210 (c. 1946)

Individual countries with substantive content in FRASER have subject headings:

Geography

FRED

In FRED you can find series for different geography types such as nation, state, or Census or BEA regions by going to the Category for U.S. Regional Data. Drill down through a state to get to its counties and MSAs. Then use the available tags on the left-hand side to narrow your selections.

Good FRED series for human geography:

  • Refugee population series from the World Bank
  • International migration stock series. International migrant stock is the number of people born in a country other than that in which they live, including refugees.
  • Net migration series. Net migration is the net total of migrants during the period, that is, the total number of immigrants less the annual number of emigrants, including both citizens and noncitizens. Data are five-year estimates.

GeoFRED

If your FRED Graph has a related map in GeoFRED, you'll likely find it below the FRED Graph in Related Content.

GeoFRED helps you visualize and find patterns in economic data. You can map the same geographies that you have in FRED including nation, state, county, and MSA. See examples of GeoFRED Maps on our Regional Economic Data page.

Some more interesting GeoFRED examples:

Ideas for using GeoFRED in the classroom: 


FRASER resources for Geography

History

FRED

FRED has some data going far back in time. Check out these series related to banking and economic history.


GeoFRED

GeoFRED can help you visualize how data have changed over time. Download a map for one year at a time, then import them into a PowerPoint Slide show to see the data change from year to year. 

For example, you could compare these maps.

2008 Per Capita Personal Income by County and 2017 Per Capita Personal Income by County


FRASER

FRASER is a digital library for economic and banking history, especially as it relates to the Federal Reserve. It can also be a great teaching tool for illustrating primary sources vs secondary sources. 

Some relevant and useful items it includes: 

Ideas for teaching with FRASER in the classroom: 

Economics

FRED

While all the data in FRED is related to economics, we highlight the most commonly used series on the homepage, along with the most recently released data. 


Brush up on economic concepts with our Econlowdown Podcasts and Video series


Are you new to econ or teaching economic concepts? Check out our FRED Interactive lessons available for free through Econlowdown.org. These short quizzes use FRED to test your knowledge and data literacy skills.


Make economics even more fun by forecasting economic indicators with your friends in FREDCast.

FRED Blog Post: A lesson on time series to get you started with FREDcast


GeoFRED

GeoFRED helps you visualize and find patterns in economic data.

Examples of GeoFRED maps for economics


FRASER

Read this Inside FRASER post to learn about the large collection of Federal Reserve statistical releases from the Board of Governors.

FRASER has a large collection of classroom materials for teachers and librarians in economics, here are just a few examples:

Political Science/Government

FRED

FRED has a number of series from the Census Bureau that are relevant for political science or government courses. If browse by Source you'll also find these two relevant entries for the Treasury: (1) U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, and (2) U.S. Department of the Treasury. Internal Revenue Service. You may also want to browse data from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US). This includes series on Consumer Credit.

Some examples of FRED series for political science/government:


GeoFRED

If your FRED Graph has a related map in GeoFRED, you'll likely find it below the FRED Graph in Related Content. GeoFRED helps you visualize and find patterns in economic data. You can map the same geographies that you have in FRED including nation, state, county, and MSA.

Some examples of maps for political science/government:


FRASER

Classroom lessons and activities using FRASER

Find more lessons for teachers, professors, and librarians at Teaching with FRASER