Overview of Data Resources at Harvard


The data collections in Harvard libraries have major strengths in economic and financial information, public opinion and survey polls, health data, inter-governmental organizations' (IGO) data, U.S. and foreign census data, and statistical compendia from the U.S. and foreign governments. Below, we've highlighted data e-resources that might have broad utility for Nieman Fellows -- but these are just the tip of the data iceberg.

A certain number of the statistical materials available to you here will still be in print or CD-ROM formats. Like other library items, statistical publications are identified by searching HOLLIS. Adding a word like "statistics" or "data" or "census" to your other search terms can sometimes help surface this information.

Data searching often requires considerable digging, and sometimes the assistance of a librarian with data expertise can save you time (and frustration). Data questions should be sent to this address: govdocs@fas.harvard.edu. Librarians check the email account throughout the workday.

The library also provides a set of data research guides, covering  economics, education, FDI, Health, IGOs, Public Opinion, Trade, and the US Census.


Quick Links for Finding Data


General

  • ProQuest Statistical Insight: this database compiles its contents -- on an endless variety of measurable topics -- from the statistical publications of 200 federal agencies, 50 state governments, 100 international intergovernmental organizations, and 500 private and academic sources. Materials published before 2000, when they are not available in full-text directly through this e-resource, can generally be accessed in print or microfiche in Government Documents, on Level B in Lamont Library. 

Political Risk/Regional analyses and data

  • Armed Conflicts Database: this e-resource covers international and internal conflicts, as well as terrorism and includes information on refugees and returnees, internally displaced persons, weapons used and their flows, fatalities, costs, historical backgrounds, and timelines. Users can generate reports, download data, and browse through year-by-year analysis and fact sheets online.
  • CountryData.com: produced by the PRS Group, the data contained here is drawn from two risk methodologies: "Political Risk Services" and the "International Country Risk Guide Ratings (ICRG Ratings)". CountryData.com provides over 75 country risk-related variables including political, economic, financial and government stability. It also includes domestic and international economic indicators, social indicators, ICRG Risk Ratings and Coplin-O'Leary Forecasts. Coverage dates as far back as 1984.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU): a suite of e-resources which provides data and analysis of macroeconomic factors, country risk, political information, business operating procedures, and risk projections for 200 countries.
  • Migration Policy Institute Data Hub: an independent, non-partisan think-tank in Washington DC, MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels. The Data Hub showcases the most current national and state-level demographic, social, and economic facts about immigrants to the US; as well as stock, flow, citizenship, net migration, and historical data for countries in Europe, North America, and Oceania. 

Public Opinion

  • Americas Barometer: also known as the Latin American Public Opinion Project, this e-resource provides access to the data from regularly conducted, multi-country surveys of democratic values and behaviors in the Americas. Surveys have measured system support, political tolerance, citizen participation, local government, corruption, and views on authoritarianism for the Americas. Coverage begins in 2004.
  • Gallup Brain: a searchable compendium of U.S. public opinion data, together with questionnaires, collected since 1935.
  • Polling the Nations: a compilation of more than 14,000 surveys conducted by over 1000 polling organizations in the United States and 100 other countries from 1986 to the present time.Each record provides a question asked and the responses given. Also included is the polling organization responsible for the poll, the sample size and the date the poll was released.
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion: provides access to summary-level (aggregate) and micro-level (raw) public opinion data. While the data collection focuses strongly on summary level United States public opinion (iPoll), it also includes growing collections of micro-level European, Latin American (Latin American Databank) and Japanese (JPOLL) public opinion. The Roper Center resources require users to set up (free) individual accounts in order to gain access to the data.

Country-level data

  • China Data Online:  provides statistical information from the National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China in English. Coverage includes China Yearly Macro-economy Statistics (1949-), China Monthly Macro-economy Statistics (1998-), Monthly Reports on Economy Development (2002-), China City Statistics (1996-), China County Statistics (1997-), China Industrial Data (2001-), and various statistical yearbooks (2002-), as well as provincial and county-level data from the 2000 census.
  • East View Universal Databases. Statistical Publications: a full-text database that covers Russian and English-language publications, reports, and data sets from State Committee of the Russian Federation on Statistics and the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It covers 100+ statistical publications; backfiles in some instances date back to 1995.
  • IndiaStat.com: a gateway to comprehensive and authentic socio-economic information related to India. It brings together and makes searchable 51 websites delivering socio-economic data about India and its states. Among the topics covered statistically are agriculture, demographics, market forecast, health, media, economy, crime, and social welfare.
  • Social Explorer: provides access to historical census data for the United States, which can be displayed as reports or maps. Currently, this e-resource contains data from 1940 to 2000 at the census tract, county, state, and national level. 

IGO and NGO data

  • IMF e-Library: provides access to the International Monetary Fund resources: International Financial Statistics, Balance of Payments, Government Finance Statistics, and Direction of Trade Statistics. Provides coverage on a number of topics including exchange rates, international liquidity, international banking, interest rates, prices, production, international transactions, government accounts, and national accounts.
  • OECD iLibrary: provides online access to the many publications and databases put out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Publications include country studies, forecasting publications, reports, periodicals, and socio-economic databases. Topics covered include agriculture, developing economies, education, employment, energy, environment, migration, social issues, and sustainable development.
  • UNdata: a resource from the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, providing access to major UN statistical databases and those of several international organizations, through a single entry point. Over 60 million data points cover a wide range of subjects including agriculture, crime, education, employment, energy, environment, health, HIV/AIDS, human development, industry, information and communication technology,national accounts, population, refugees, tourism, trade, as well as the Millennium Development Goals indicators. Other useful UN Statistics resources are listed on our UN Research Guide.

  • World Bank Databases: provides access to a wide range of World Bank data including World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, and Africa Development Indicators. Data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental indicators.