This morning I came across a resource that I wrote about a few years ago, but hadn't spent much time with since. Therefore, I've updated the post a little bit to bring new attention to it.
City Data is a free directory of statistics about US Cities. The type of data sets that you will find on City Data includes all the typical information you'd expect to find like housing prices, demographic data, and job data. City Data also provides information about things like cell phone coverage, quality and availability of public transportation, and air quality. The data is arranged in list form, in graph, and chart form.
Beyond the statistics available on City Data, all of which you could find on other websites, there is a great discussion board. The discussion board is the place to go for questions and answers that reveal more about a place than a simple data table can offer. The discussion forum is arranged by state and major metropolitan areas. I spent quite a bit of time in the discussion forums and most seem to be very active and current.
Applications for Education
City Data could be used by students for an assignment in which they compare the costs of living in various US cities. You could use City Data to customize this lesson plan to accurately reflect your part of the country.
The City Data discussion forums could be useful for high school students considering going to college in an area far from home. Even without posting questions in the forum, students and their parents could get a sense of what to expect in a new place.