The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a neat little reference work. It’s been around since 1878 and provides all sorts of nuggets and gems of information about the US all gathered together in one place. And it’s about to die an untimely death due to budget cuts.
And just when you think, “Do we really need to spend money on this anachronism when Wikipedia and Google are chock full of this type of information — for free?”, you realize that much of the statistical information in these sources is taken directly from the Statistical Abstract due to its public domain nature and its comprehensiveness. The availability of this type of data will be much harder to locate, without paying for it or doing a lot of research in other sources, in a world without the Statistical Abstract.
There are efforts afoot to save the Statistical Abstract. If you believe the production of this work is important and should continue, please sign the petition.