Through use of practical examples and a plainspoken narrative style that minimises the use of maths, this book demystifies data concepts, sources, and methods for public service professionals interested in understanding economic and social issues at the regional level. By blending elements of a general interest book, a textbook, and a reference book, it equips civic leaders, public administrators, urban planners, nonprofit executives, philanthropists, journalists, and graduate students in various public affairs disciplines to wield social and economic data for the benefit of their communities. While numerous books about quantitative research exist, few focus specifically on the public sector. Running the Numbers, in contrast, explores a wide array of topics of regional importance, including economic output, demographics, business structure, labour markets, and income, among many others. To that end, the book stresses practical applications, minimises the use of maths, and employs extended, chapter-length examples that demonstrate how analytical tools can illuminate the social and economic workings of actual American regions.