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Statistics and Data for Health

Resources to help with public health assignments and research


"Data" and "Statistics" are terms are often used interchangeably, but refer to different things. Raw data is unprocessed data collected by researchers. Statistics are processed data that provide a summary of the raw data.

This guide provides links to sources of health statistics collected by a number of local, state, national, and international organizations.

Each page provides links to vital statistics and demographic information, population-based statistics, healthcare statistics, and other unique items.

This guide is not comprehensive. If there are statistics you are looking for but cannot find, contact your subject librarian or chat with a librarian.

Challenges to Finding Health Statistics

It can often be challenging to find the health statistics you're looking for. Keep in mind:

  • Data collection on this scale can take a long time. The most recent data on a topic is often a year or two old by the time it is published.
  • Health data is collected by a wide range of government agencies, non-profits, and other groups. It can be hard to know who collects certain types of data. The quality of the data, the collection methodology, and the accessibility of the data can vary.
  • Not all of the data you're looking for will have been collected. For example, while incidence and prevalence of disease may be collected at a national or state level, it may not be available at a county or city level. Some data is collected but is not available publicly due to patient privacy laws.

Types of Statistics

Vital statistics include life expectancy, morbidity (illness), mortality (deaths and causes, infant and maternal mortality, etc), fertility and birth rates, marriages and divorces.

Demographic statistics include vital statistics and population distribution, composition, or structure, immigration, and social and economic conditions, that are often based on national surveys, census and government administrative data. This section also includes statistics for health status, which is the level of health of the individual, group, or population.

Population-based statistics focus on specific population groups, such as data broken down by gender, race, or age.

Health care statistics include health care services utilization, health care systems and health accounts, health resources (personnel, facilities, education), health care access and quality, and health insurance or universal coverage, and health care costs and expenditures.

Where to Start