Back in the old days, pre-Internet, the Statistical Abstract of the United States was usually the first place I’d look for any US data that the feds were likely to collect or review. I could cite it with confidence that most readers would also have access to it, and it included source citations if more detail was needed. In the Internet age, it continued as a convenient resource, posted annually on the Census Bureau’s web site.
I had missed the news (was it even reported in the dominant media?) that the 2012 Abstract will be the last. If the federal budget must be cut, then I suppose this is one way to do it, but it seems that our rulers could have found a better way.
Apparently a guide to sources will remain, at least for the time being.