1. Computing

The Top Twenty Essential US Government Web Sites

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Get the information you need with my picks for the Top Twenty Essential US Government Web Sites. There are literally hundreds of thousands of US government and government-related Web sites online today, however, I found that these sites consistently offer the best user experience, helping you to find what you need quickly, easily, and efficiently.

1. USA.gov

usagov
USA.gov serves as the public's access portal into the vast resources available on the Web from the U.S. government.

Find out more about USA.gov in my profile titled USA.gov.

2. Library of Congress

library of congress
The Library of Congress is the nation's largest repository of culture, as well as the largest functioning library in the entire world.

Read more about the Library of Congress in my profile titled Library of Congress.

3. THOMAS

thomas
A subsite of the Library of Congress, THOMAS (named for Thomas Jefferson) is federal legislation freely available for the general public.

Use Google Uncle Sam to find more federal documents.

4. GPO Access Core Documents of U.S. Democracy

gpo access
From the Articles of Confederation to a Statistical Abstract of the United States, if you're looking for an American historical document, you'll probably find it here.

Related: You can view all sorts of interesting historical manuscripts at the Manuscript Museum; "the world's largest private holding of important original manuscripts & documents."

5. Federal Citizen Information Center

fcic
Find government publications, booklets, consumer action alerts, and more at the FCIC - Federal Citizen Information Center.

6. Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids

ben's guide
Ben's Guide is an excellent introduction to the US government: "This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. These resources will teach how our government works, the use of the primary source materials of GPO Access, and how one can use GPO Access to carry out their civic responsibilities."

Related: There are so many great kids sites out there on the Web; here's a few that I visit with my own kids at The Best Kids Sites on the Web.

7. Healthfinder.gov

healthfinder
Healthfinder.gov is one of the best places to find government-related health and human services information on the Web. Over 1500 health-related organizations are represented here.

Related: The Invisible Web has a goldmine of medical databases and specialiazed medical sites that just don't show up on a cursory search in the search engines. Best of all, this information is free. Find out more in my article titled Medical Information on the Invisible Web.

8. NCHS Vital Records

vital records
If you are wondering how to obtain vital records, then the National Center for Health Statistics is the best place to start. Every state is represented here, with detailed information on how to go about getting what you need.

Related: Looking to do a free public records search on the Web? I've put together a Top Ten list of where to find the best free public record search databases online, from obituaries to census records. Read more in Top Ten Free Public Records Search Picks.

9. The White House

white house
Whitehouse.gov not only gives you the latest Presidential news, but you can also find out the President's official stand on a whole plethora of policy issues, from budget management to national defense.

Related: The Web is great for finding all sorts of fun stuff, not the least of which is tracking the President's activities. Find out more in The President of the United States - Online.

10. US Census Bureau

us census bureau
Want US population info? How about the latest census findings? You can find answers to these questions and a whole lot more at the US Census Bureau.

Related: Explore census data with the Historical Census Browser, a service from the University of Virginia Library Geostat Center.

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