Apparently it's true: the demise of the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States is slated for next year. Rumors first surfaced on the govdocs listerv, and the guys over at the Free Government Information blog have confirmed; they provide a link to the Dept. of Commerce's Budget Justification document (pages 82-92). What is the Stat Ab? A publication of the United States Census Bureau, it's been published annually since 1878 and is the standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. It is also designed to serve as a guide to other statistical publications and sources. It's one of those reference books that every library keeps at the ref desk because it gets so much use. The 2011 (130th Edition) Statistical Abstract of the United States, available from the Census Bureau website, contains 30 sections (each section can be downloaded as a separate pdf) and 1,010 pages covering over 200 topics from detailed birth, marriage and death stats to stats on all the bodies of water in the US to banking stats and everything in between.