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Health Statistics

Health data are gathered from a number of different types of sources from organizations working at the national, state and local levels. Data quality, collection methodology and accessibility will vary considerably. The source, collection methodology, purpose of collection, and limitations should be considered when evaluating and using data and statistics.

Some important sources of health data are: 

Data and Statistics: This is the starting point for health statistics from the CDC. Browse by topic, view publications, and links to interactive tools, surveys and more.

CDC Wonder: A portal to several CDC databases concerning health-related topics for public health information and numerical data sets such as AIDS/STDs, risk behaviors (the Behavioral Risk Surveillance System), mortality and natality statistics.

  • National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) The NCHS is the nation's principal health statistics agency. It is a unit of the CDC. The NCHS homepage is also a central point for health statistics browsable by topic, links to surveys, publications, and other online tools.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations and is an international coordinating agency for public health.

Useful WHO databases for data and statistics include:

Global Health Observatory (providing national statistics for health indicators), 

Global Health Observatory Map Gallery Includes an extensive list of maps on major health topics.


-Adapted from Cornell University Mann Library guide: Finding Health Data and Statistics: Getting Started 




Statistics Databases

This video from Portland State University Library outlines the basics of accessing demographic data in Social Explorer. It shows how to access the map view, and how to view two different data variables side-by-side on the Social Explorer map..