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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

HCM 4580: Health Services Research Methods

Spring 2016, for Kim Dauner

Research Guide

Suggested Sources for Health Statistics Scholarly Articles


Google Scholar

Indexes scholarly literature. Strong in the areas of medicine, engineering, the sciences, and business. Provides relevancy rankings based on the citation patterns of the articles.  Sources are linked to Library electronic holdings via "Find It."   This is your first best place to search for scholarly journal articles.  Search this database by your health topic.  Use the connector "AND" to connect that topic to a related concept and thus further focus your topic.

Suggested Sources for Health Statistics Downloads

Finding public health statistics and data sources (PDF)

Finding data sources and effectively using statistics are of vital importance as national, state, and local public health departments are called upon to respond quickly to ever more pressing emergencies. The importance of health data and a brief discussion of how to find statistics and data sources are discussed in this chapter. Also, a case study is used to illustrate how Web sites offering data sets and statistics can be useful in public health practice.

Note that the text of this chapter is in te public domain and may be copied, adapted and
used freely for the training of members of the public health workforce. This PDF document contains links and annotations to many highly useful websites, and thus provides an excellent overview.  While most of the links in this document are correct, a few are broken, and would have to be located via a Google search.


The first place to go to search the web.

Search for disease or condition, geography and download:

Example:   Smoking AND United States AND data download


Another important Web search engine.


Data Planet

Includes data from local, state and international governments and organizations. Subject categories include criminal justice, education, energy, food and agriculture, government, health, labor and employment, natural resources and environment, and more. Datasets are customizable, allowing you to select variables of interest such as age, gender, and race. Data can be exported into statistical software such as Excel and SAS.

Offers easy access to over 5,550 data sets from over 65 source providers and 16 subject categories, including banking, criminal justice, education,energy, food and agriculture, government, health, housing and construction,industry and commerce, labor and employment, natural resources and environment, income, cost of living, stocks, transportation, and more. Sources of data include federal, local, state and international governments and organizations. Allows for customization of the data by selecting subjects, and the ability to view your data in side-by-side tables, charts and maps.  Contains International Data.  Available via the UMD Library.


The Importance of Browsing

Health Statistics and Data Sources (University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library)

Health related statistics and data sources are increasingly available on the Internet. They can be found already neatly packaged, or as raw data sets. The most reliable data comes from governmental sources or health-care professional organizations.  This is an excellent starting point, that also contains United States and Minnesota data.


More Examples

World Bank Health Data

HealthStats is the World Bank's comprehensive database of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) statistics. Contains International Data.


OECD Health Statistics 2015

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has been one of the world's largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistics, and economic and social data. As well as collecting data, the OECD monitors trends, analyses and forecasts economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more.Sample and frequently requested data available for free. Complete downloadable database requires a fee. Contains International Data.


Global Health Observatory data repository -- World Health Organization

The WHO (World Health Organization) Statistical Information System (WHOSIS) has been incorporated into the Global Health Observatory (GHO) to provide you with more data, more tools, more analysis and more reports.  Contains International Data.

Country Statistics

The country statistical pages bring together the main health data and statistics for each country, as compiled by WHO and partners in close consultation with Member States, and include descriptive and analytical summaries of health indicators for major health topics.

Data Repository

The GHO data repository contains an extensive list of indicators, which can be selected by theme or through a multi-dimension query functionality. It is the World Health Organization's main health statistics repository.

he GHO data repository provides access to over 50 datasets on priority health topics including mortality and burden of diseases, the Millennium Development Goals (child nutrition, child health, maternal and reproductive health, immunization, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected diseases, water and sanitation), non communicable diseases and risk factors, epidemic-prone diseases, health systems, environmental health, violence and injuries, equity among others. In addition, the GHO provides on-line access to WHO's annual summary of health-related data for its 194 Member states: the World Health Statistics 2012.

Map Gallery

The GHO map gallery includes an extensive list of maps on major health topics.


NIH - HSRIC - Data, Tool, and Statistics

HSRIC is a research portal of health services research resources providing numerous Internet links to data, funding announcements, reports, podcasts, discussion groups, and more.

Databases/Repositories (Federal) Databases/Repositories (Non-Federal) Health Statistics International Surveys (Federal) Surveys (Other) Surveys (State)

HCUP.Net (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project)

HCUPnet is an on-line query system that gives access to the largest set of all-payer health care databases that are publicly available. Generate tables and graphs on national and regional statistics and trends for community hospitals in the U.S. In addition, community hospital data are available for those States that have agreed to participate in HCUPnet.

HCUPnet is part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). HCUPnet generates statistics using data from HCUP's Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), and the State Inpatient Databases (SID).

HCUP data are used for research on hospital utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes. The data are used to describe patterns of care for uncommon as well as common diseases, to analyze hospital procedures, including those that are performed infrequently, and to study the care of population sub-groups such as minorities, children, women, and the uninsured. Researchers and policymakers use HCUP data to identify, track, analyze and compare hospital statistics at the national, regional and State levels.

State Health Facts Online -- Kaiser Family Foundation is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states. provides data on more than 500 health topics and is linked to both the Kaiser Family Foundation website ( and ( 

Public-Use Data Files and Documentation -- CDC

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) offers downloadable public-use data files through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) FTP file server. Users of this service have access to data sets, documentation, and questionnaires from NCHS surveys and data collection systems. Downloading instructions are available in "readme" files.

Public-use data files are prepared and disseminated to provide access to the full scope of the data. This allows researchers to manipulate the data in a format appropriate for their analyses. NCHS makes every effort to release data collected through its surveys and data systems in a timely manner.

Users of NCHS public-use data files must comply with data use restrictions to ensure that the information will be used solely for statistical analysis or reporting purposes.

Health Data Tools and Statistics - Partners in Information Access
This public health portal has categorized data tools and statistics into these subcategories: Health Statistics, National Public Health Data Sets, State and Local Public Health Data Sets, Public Health Infrastructure Data, Search for Other Tools, and Tools for Data Collection and Planning.