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Health Data and Statistics : Health Data and Statistics

This guide provides links to selected sources of data and statistics collected and provided by numerous organizations and agencies. Health data and statistics can be difficult to find. Some of the things that make this so challenging are:

  • Health data collection is decentralized -- carried out by many different government, non-governmental and private agencies and organizations including organizations working at the national, state and local levels.  Data quality, collection methodology and accessibility will vary considerably.
  • Data collection and dissemination takes time and resources.  There is often a lag time between collection and availability, and thus real-time data can be difficult to find.
  • Collection of health data in the United States is a fairly recent phenomenon.  Finding reliable data prior to 1956, when the National Health Survey was established, will take time and may involve consulting primary resources.  You can also search the scholarly literature to find any studies that may have already done this ground work for you.

On the other hand, because statistics are from several organizations from all types, conducting a Google search using specific words for your topic along with the term statistics might retrieve worthwhile results. For example, the search adolescent obesity united states statistics retrieves several excellent and varied sources such as recent journal articles, government, institutional, and organization websites. (from Cornell Finding Health Data and Statistics: Getting Started)

Need more?

Finding and Using Health Statistics
The National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) offers an extensive web tutorial that explains how health statistics are compiled and where to find different types of statistical information. This is a free online course for librarians and students in health sciences.


Suburb Guides from Other Sources

For other statistics, check out the UW-Libraries Guides