Where can I get USA historical econ/demo statistics?

I am writing a small piece on Social Security. I would like to compare the figures which underly future projections for the program to historical norms and recent historical data. The Social Security data is here, but I have no idea where to find the historical data, can anyone point me in the right direction?

(Please keep this GQ, no comments about SS, or the politcis of it.)

Thank you!

Have you checked out the Census Bureau?

I went exploring a little. I can’t find what I’m looking for, maybe I am just weak at their search engine.

I think I would settle for just having Productivity (total US economy) for as many years back as I can go.


Almost complete Census data back to 1790. Includes population and many of the economic-related censuses (Census of Manufactures and others).

I’m finding what I need at the Beareaux of Labor Statistics. I think I won’t use the more demographic information after all. Thanks for the help!

It is hard to find anything on the Census website, but try the Statistical Abstracts of the US, located here . They have data from 1878 on.