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Finding and Using Health Data
Questions to ask to help you identify health data/statistical sources:
- Is there a government agency or organization that would collect your data?
- Do you need very current or historical data?
- What type of data do you need (demographic, health, vital)?
- What level of data do you need (national, local)?
Health Statistics (NLM)
Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) on understanding health statistics sources.
Health Behavior Constructs
Provides definitions of major theoretical constructs employed in health behavior research, and information about the best measures of these constructs. Compiled by the National Cancer Institute.
Data Sources for Global Health
Search Tip: Combine search words for your topic of interest with the specific term for the type of statistical information such as : Incidence; Prevalence; Morbidity; Mortality; Utilization
PolicyMap is an online data and mapping tool that lets you create maps covering Demographics, Incomes & Spending, Housing, Lending, Quality of Life, Economy, Education, and Health.
500 Cities: Local Data for Better Health
The 500 Cities project is a collaboration between CDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation. The purpose of the 500 Cities Project is to provide city- and census tract-level small area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States. These small area estimates will allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions, and assist them in planning public health interventions. See bottom of page for the note for data users.
Texas Demographic Center
The Texas Demographic Center functions as a focal point for the production, interpretation, and distribution of demographic information for Texas. The Texas Demographic Center produces and disseminates population estimates and projections for Texas, as well as other demographic information. Special emphasis is placed on data that may be useful to policy makers in dealing with issues regarding the demand for State services
Texas Department of State Health Services Center for Health Statistics
Provides a convenient access point for health-related data for Texas. Statistics on vital events like birth and death, population and demographic information, geographic material and survey data on risk factors and disease prevalence are provided.
Texas Statistics Sites by Subject
Primary Source Data from Other DSHS Programs
CIA World Factbook
Basic demographic, government, and economic info by country.
Demographic & Health (DHS) Surveys by Country
DHS surveys on health and population in developing countries. NOTE: not every country included here.
Food Security Index
Index of food security issues related to affordability, availability, and quality across 113 countries
Global Health Facts
Data by country on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other key health and socio-economic indicators. A project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Health Data, Country Profiles (IMHE)
Overview of findings from the Global Burden of Disease survey by country.
International Health Care System Profiles
Overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
International Monetary Fund
Country index for IMF publications.
Political Handbook of the World
Presents excellent, authoritative overviews of countries worldwide.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Profiles
Click on 'UNDP around the world' to choose a specific country. Look in the 'About' tab for specific references to current challenges in the country.
World Bank Open Data
Access global development data by country
Demographic & Health Surveys (USAID)
DHS is responsible for collecting and disseminating accurate, nationally representative data on health and population in developing countries.
Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs
Global health diplomacy—the intersection of public health and foreign policy—is the core of OGA’s work. Through relationships with multilateral organizations, foreign governments, ministries of health, civil society groups, and the private sector, OGA creates and maintains the pathways for HHS to apply its expertise globally, learn from our overseas counterparts, and advance policies that protect and promote health at home and worldwide.
Global Health Data Exchange (IMHE)
Catalog of surveys, censuses, vital statistics, and other health-related data from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation from the Univ. of Washington.
Global Health Observatory from WHO
WHO's portal for providing access to data and analyses for monitoring global health worldwide. It provides critical data and analyses for key health themes, as well as direct access to the full database.
Social science data archive including datasets on health. Browse by topic or geography.
International Household Survey Network
Catalog of household surveys in countries around the world. This site does not contain the data in the surveys, but should provide enough information to track the survey back to its source.
Millennium Development Goals (UN)
This site presents the official data, definitions, methodologies and sources for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
World Bank: Health, Nutrition, & Population Dashboards
Provides access to health-specific indicators for 200 countries.