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HLTH 6101: Research Methods in Health Education: Health Statistics

Introduction

Locating health-related data and statistics can be a bit challenging.  Below you will find a list resources to help you locate health related data.  Please keep in mind that this guide is not comprehensive; rather, it provides links to frequently used heath data and statistics websites.  

Here are a couple things to keep in mind when trying to locate health related data: 

  • Think in terms of major stakeholders. Who is likely to be responsible for keeping track of data on a particular health-related topic.  Or, who cares about the topic?
  • Compiling data does take time.  Therefore data from the past few years may have to suffice as "recent" data.  

Sometimes you are able to find statistics through a simple Google search, by search for your topic along with the word statistics.  

  • Exampleadolescent obesity "united states" statistics

Getting Started with Health Statistics

Major Producers of Health Statistics

The U.S. Government collects a huge amount of health data.  Agency websites serve as portals to finding health statistics on all kinds of topics, so they make a great starting place in your search for statistical information.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC is a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and is the primary federal agency for public health.

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.
FastStats: A-Z topic list of statistics and data available from CDC
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 searchable by topic, links to surveys, publications, and other online tools.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

DHHS is the umbrella agency under which most national health data and statistics programs operate.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations and is an international coordinating agency for public health.

Data and Statistics Major WHO databases include the Global Health Observatory (national statistics for health indicators), WHO Global Infobase Online (chronic diseases and risk factors), and the Global Health Atlas.  Data is also accessible by topical categories.

United States Statistical Sites

North Carolina Statistics

NC County and Regional Statistics