Databases and statistics often make a powerful difference in many news stories. There are thousands of local, state, and federal government databases that contain information useful to news stories. Numerous databases produced by the Bureau of the Census are widely used by news organizations and account for a significant proportion of government databases in use by the public in this decade. Generally, however, government databases are less expensive to access and use than similar services in the commercial world. Of course, some of those databases in the commercial sector are the same government databases with certain enhancements—such as easier to use interfaces—that are often labeled “value-added.” Local government databases that are the most commonly used by reporters are municipal and county-level civil and criminal court records, occupational and professional licenses, school system performance records, public budgets, crime reports and statistics, employment records, real estate transaction records, and construction permits.