Explore the World of Free Data at Data.gov

U.S. Federal government collects massive amount of data each year from every sector of our highly evolved industries from the education sector and financial institutions.

Have you heard of "Freedom of Information Laws"? In the United States the Freedom of Information Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966 and went into effect the following year.

What that means is general public has the right to access data held by the federal government.  In the case of U.S., it only applies to federal agencies.  However, most of the states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar laws requiring public access to data maintained by them.

Isn't that wonderful for those who can really make great uses out of those data?  Yes, it is, however, obtaining the data wasn't that straight forward in most cases.  Each federal and state agencies maintains and control the access to the data.  If often meant digging through vast array of websites and links to uncover what is being collected and maintained by a particular agency.

Data.gov is the first attempt by the U.S. government to make the data easily accessible by the general public.   The website was launched in late May 2009 by the then Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the United States, Vivek Kundra.

The amount of data available through Data.gov is perhaps a small fraction of what's out there in the wild.  Never the less, this is a good start and a move in the right direction.

Examples of data available on Data.gov:

Data on Consumers

  • Expenditure on Children by Families
  • FDIC Failed Bank List
  • Population Estimates
  • American Housing Survey


  • College Scorecard
  • Federal Student Loan Program Data
  • School Crime and Safety
  • Federal Student Aid


  • Economic Census
  • Quarterly E-Commerce Report
  • Rent Estimates

Other data available on the website covers industries and topics including but not limited to Climate, Energy, Health, Public Safety and Science.  At the time of writing this article, there were 193,141 datasets available for download free of charge.

Does your company need big data to analyze your local market or industry trends to beat the competition?  Let us know, and we will help you find the right data, and help you turn the raw numbers into insights.
Explore the World of Free Data at Data.gov Explore the World of Free Data at Data.gov Reviewed by Brandon on December 25, 2016 Rating: 5

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