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Health Statistics

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Noah Roth
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Library Resources

Governmental Sources of Health Data and Statistics

These are some of the most important players in the collection of health data in the United States and worldwide. 

National Library of Medicine Tutorial - Finding and using health statistics
The National Library of Medicine is part of the National Institutes of Health.  The tutorial allows users to:

  1. Understand what health statistics measure and how to use them to improve general health
  2. Gain a basic knowledge of the statistical terms commonly used when reading about health statistics
  3. Learn different ways health information can be collected, and the pros and cons of each
  4. Become familiar with a variety of online sources for health statistics
  5. Create a set of strategies to find specific health statistics


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
DHHS is the umbrella agency under which most national health data and statistics programs operate. These include the CDC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among others.

Centers for Diseases 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.
  • Fast Stats: A-Z index of major statistics on various health topics. References to source material and related pages are provided as well.
  • 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 browseable 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 the Global Health Observatory (providing national statistics for health indicators), and the World Health Statistics. Data is also accessible by topical categories.