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Finding government reports (including reports containing statistics)

I know, I know, we told you not to use Google for your assignments

However, Google has some great features for searching for government reports, policies, statistics and other useful documents. (But please do not rely on using Google for all your references.)

  • Use technical or professional terms to get more technical or professional results. For example, when looking for disease statistics, use incidence rather than numbers or statistics (or maybe prevalence might be more relevant).
  • Use (double) quotation marks to define phrases (multiple words found together, rather than separately) - use "clinical depression" to find the exact phrase rather then clinical depression without the quotation marks (which might find examples of depression in clinical laboratory workers).
  • Add to restrict results to only government websites, or for only Victorian government websites.

incidence "clinical depression"

Try it in Google


You can also:

  • use to restrict to Victorian government web sites.
  • use a year range to look for years in the results, such as daterange:2012-2015
  • specify the filetype of results (such as only PDF documents).

incidence "clinical depression" daterange:2014-2019 filetype:PDF

Try it:  

You can also use parentheses (round brackets) and OR for alternative terms (works best at the end of the search line):

incidence daterange:2014-2016 filetype:PDF ("clinical depression" OR "diagnosed depression")

Try it:  

We can also exclude a search term from our results (similar to using NOT in a database) by putting a hyphen or minus sign in front of the word (or phrase in quotes). For example, to exclude results that include the word asthma, we can use -asthma

incidence daterange:2014-2016 filetype:PDF "diagnosed depression" -Melbourne

Try it:  


Warning: excluding results that have a specific word or phrase can possibly exclude useful results. Use with care.

Finding Australian statistics (regions, areas, towns)

Want some overall Australian statistics?

Want some statistics for your local town, suburb, or other area?

Useful heath statistics