Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Public Health Resources

Countway Library is dedicated to supporting the research interests of our students and investigators in the varied fields of Public Health.

Health Data & Statistics

Federal Government Stats

FCSM
created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is a federal interagency committee whose mission is to improve the quality of federal statistics through statistical and methodological technical guidance and to inform and advise OMB on issues related to statistical policy. As of February 21, 2018, a notice was posted on the FCSM website stating “Please Note: The FCSM website and FedStats website have a new URL address, https://nces.ed.gov/FCSM/index.asp. The FedStats content is under construction. In the meantime, users may find www.data.gov helpful.” No archives of the FedStats and FCSM websites have been identified.

Proquest Statistical Insight/Proquest (Formerly Lexis-Nexis Statistical) 
Statistical tables from selected United States government publications, state government publications, business and association publications, and international inter-governmental sources. Summary statistics on the social, political and economic organization of the United States. Compiled from publications and records of various government and private agencies, it is designed to serve both as a convenient reference volume and as a guide to other statistical sources. Earlier additions are available from the Census Bureau.


Public Use Micro-Data

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA)
The Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota has created this dataset consisting of thirty-eight samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses from 1850-2000 and from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2009. The IPUMS assigns uniform codes across all the samples and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of social and economic change.

National Center for Health Statistics
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the nation’s principal health statistics agency. Data are collected from birth and death records, medical records, interviews, direct physical exams and laboratory testing. The site contains a link to “FASTATS A-Z” which allows the user to search for health statistics by topic. The site provides both summary-level and micro-level data. Data from the following studies and surveys is available on the NCHS website:

  • Health, United States
  • National Health Interview Survey
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • National Health Care Survey
  • National Vital Statistics System
  • National Immunization Survey
  • National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
  • National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
  • National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery
  • National Hospital Discharge Survey
  • National Nursing Home Survey
  • National Home and Hospice Care Survey
  • National Employer Health Insurance Survey
  • National Health Provider Inventory

Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the federal agency that is responsible for developing and applying disease prevention and control, and preparing health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. Links to data and information on the following surveys and studies available on the CDC website include:

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System
  • Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
  • WISQARS- (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System)

CDC Wonder
This site provides links to a wide variety of reports and numeric public health data. Topics include chronic diseases, communicable diseases, environmental health, health practice and prevention, injury prevention, and occupational health.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) publishes evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access. Data available on this site include:

  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)
  • HIV and AIDS Costs and Use (HIVnet)

Area Resource File
Contains data relating to county descriptor codes, health professions data, health facility and health training data, population and economic data, and limited data on vital statistics, industry, housing, expenditure and environmental factors for all counties within the United States (except Alaska).

Beneficiary/Non-Beneficiary Files
The CMS also publishes Beneficiary and Non-Beneficiary files and Cost Reports that are available for purchase. Some of these files are restricted and a Data User Agreement will have to be completed before the data is released. These files contain data relating to county and zip code enrollment, provider and hospital services, physician/supplier procedure and healthcare cost reports.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the federal agency that collects and disseminates data related mainly to labor economics, they do publish studies and surveys on their website that ask health, occupational illness, workplace injuries and health insurance related questions:

  • National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
  • National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Mature Women
  • National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men and Older Men
  • Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities

ICPSR
 Data in a micro-level format available through the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

Health Data Tools and Statistics 
Comprehensive list of links to local, state, national and international health statistics and data sets. Provided by Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce, a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations and health sciences librarians.

Incidence and Prevalence Database (Harvard E-resource)
Provides epidemiological and market research data related to healthcare products and services. Covers over 4,500 diagnoses and procedures, providing data on epidemiology (incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality), census results, cost analysis, and concomitant diseases.

Integrated Health Interview Series
The Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota is a harmonized set of data and documentation based on material originally included in the public use files of the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and distributed for free over the internet. NHIS is the principal source of information on the health of the U.S. population, covering such topics as general health status, the distribution of acute and chronic illness, functional limitation, access to and use of medical services, and insurance coverage.  The IHIS facilitates cross-time comparisons of these invaluable survey data by coding variables identically across time. 

Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data
The University of Wisconsin Data and Program Library Service publishes the Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data (Crossroads) webpage that contains over 1,000 links to worldwide data resources. Users may enter keywords in the search function or browse through the topic related links. The Health link provides over 50 health related data resources, both national and international in scope.

Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is an independent organization that collects and publishes health care data. Three of its main research focuses are Health Policy, Media and Public Education, and Health and Development in South Africa. There is also a link for State Health Facts. The site provides both a “search” and a “browse by topic” option.

Medicare/Medicaid Data Compendium
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes this annual compendium that contains data relating to Medicare enrollment and Medicaid recipients, expenditures, utilization, budget, and administrative and operating costs.

National Survey of America’s Families
The Urban Institute, an independent nonprofit policy research and educational organization, publishes this survey data. The National Survey of America’s Families collects data on the children, adults under 65 years of age and families in 13 states. Data relates to a variety of topics including education, economic status, health care, health insurance and family structure. These data sets are available through ICPSR.

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program
SEER is a program of the National Cancer Institute. Statistics available from this site include tables, graphs and maps of cancer incidence, mortality, prevalence, and the probability of developing or dying from cancer.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The US Department of Health and Human Services collects and publishes data related to health, disability, human services, and science.


Micro-level Data Resources

Harvard Dataverse Network
The Harvard Dataverse Network maintains over 1,200 health-related data sets. The site is searchable by keyword, title, author and study number. The data codebooks and data sets for most studies are freely available for members of the Harvard and MIT communities.

Health and Medical Care Archive
The Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) published by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This data archive collects data published by researchers from academic, public and private sectors. Subjects include Health Care Providers, Access to and Cost of Health Care, Substance Abuse and Health, and Chronic Health Conditions. The data is available to ICPSR members only (Harvard is a member).

World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization website publishes health data relating to burden of disease statistics, health personnel, mortality, population and much more. This site also provides excel files of the statistical annex to the World Health Report.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
PAHO is the regional office for the America’s for the World Health Organization. The data available on this site includes the Atlas of Inequities, Basic Health Indicators, Core Health Data, Country Health Profiles and Trends and Situations.

World Bank
The World Bank produces many different publications relating to health and health care. A few of publications include:

 

Since 1980, the World Bank has been collecting multi-purpose household survey data in several countries under the Living Standards Measurement Study umbrella. 

Global Health
The US Department of Health and Human Services publishes this website. Data resources include country information, world health statistics, and fact sheets.

Global Health Data Exchange (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)
A catalog of the world's health and demographic data.

Incidence and Prevalence Database (Harvard E-resource)
Provides epidemiological and market research data related to healthcare products and services. Covers over 4,500 diagnoses and procedures, providing data on epidemiology (incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality), census results, cost analysis, and concomitant diseases.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (Harvard E-resource)
The OECD publishes several health resources including annual and periodical titles that are country and/or subject specific, factbooks that are subject specific and working papers that all hold data.  The Health Data resource provides data on health status, health care resources and utilization, expenditure and financing in the health care industry, as well as data on the pharmaceutical industry and non-medical determinants of health.

United Nations: Statistics Division
This United Nations (UN) website provides basic health data including life expectancy, infant mortality rates and child mortality rates for over 100 countries worldwide.

United Nations: UN Data Access System
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has a new internet based data service for the global user community.  It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point.  Topics included are agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, health, industry, national accounts, population, trade and tourism.

United Nations: Human Development Report
This website provides the full-text of these reports from 1990-present. These thematic reports focus on issues ranging from health to education to globalization to human rights. The site also provides a link to the Human Development Indicators database.

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
The main UNICEF website publishes health-related data in the form of country tables. You may also search by indicator.

UNICEF: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women
This UNICEF website publishes child health, nutrition and survival data, and maternal health data. They can be searched by subject, indicator or keyword search.

USAid
USAid is an independent federal government agency that collects and publishes data related to global health, economics, agriculture and trade. Global health topics include child survival, HIV/AIDS, Infectious diseases, nutrition and maternal health, and population. The information on this site is mainly text, with some health data available.

Proquest Statistical Insight/Proquest (Formerly Lexis-Nexis Statistical) 
Statistical tables from selected United States government publications, state government publications, business and association publications, and international inter-governmental sources. Tables are in PDF and/or comma-separated variable (CSV) format.

UN Data Access System/United Nations 
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has a new internet based data service for the global user community.  It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point.  Topics included are agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, industry, national accounts, population, trade and tourism.

World Development Indicators / The World Bank 
WDI (World Development Indicators) Online contains statistical data from the World Bank for over 1,100 development indicators and time series data from 1960 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups. Data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental indicators. Results can be scaled, indexed against a particular year, viewed by percentage change, and charted. Data can be exported in Excel.  Other World Bank Databases can be accessed from their Data Catalog.

World Health Statistics

National Center for Health Statistics

 

For additional options locating statistics, contact your Public Health Liaison Librarian at Countway Library.

Bioinformatics Support at Countway Library

The number of bioinformatics approaches, tools and databases essential for current biological research increases almost daily. To help Harvard researchers to explore these tools efficiently, we provide support and help in Bioinformatics research. Support can be obtained on  miroarray analysis, pathway analysis, function prediction, sequence analysis, genomic data mining and sequence-structure-function relationships. We also help in the form of consulting and collaboration.  

We invite and encourage collaborations from scientists across Harvard campuses to participate in our workshops. 

Please contact us through the Ask-A-Librarian form if you would like to set up workshops in your area of expertise or if you have any additional questions.

 

         Countway Three Shield Logo   

Countway Library
10 Shattuck St, Boston MA 02115 | (617) 432-2136

Harvard Library | Privacy Policy | Harvard Digital Accessibility Policy
Copyright © 2020 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.