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Data for Analysis

Sources of Data for Analysis

Major Data Archives

Academic Collaborations - Data from Large-scale International Projects

Government Microdata


National Statistics Agency: Statistics Canada

  • Collect or compile statistics on demographics, health, economics, agriculture…
  • Public-Use Microdata Files (PUMFs) released through Data Liberation Initiative, can be downloaded through ODESI.
  • Restricted-Use data files can be accessed through our Research Data Centre
  • Not all Statistics Canada data is made available though the RDCs (or at all); see lists of available RDC data here and here.

United States
Multiple statistical agencies – no centralized collection or distribution point. The ones that release significant amounts of public-use microdata include:

Other Countries

Most other (non-U.S.) countries have national statistical agencies, and may (unlike the U.S. and Canada) have national data archives that will archive government and other data

Data from Intergovernmental and Nongovernmental Organizations

In less developed countries, these are a primary source for population welfare data that in developed countries is collected by the government. These are also a good source for international comparative data.

Survey Catalogs:

  • The International Household Survey Network maintains a very comprehensive central survey catalog that can be searched by country or survey series.
  • BREAD/Mcarthur/CCPR Survey Database can be searched by location, survey module. Less comprehensive than the above, but covers most of the major surveys and has a detailed listing of topics to browse by.

Major Sources:

  • Demographic and Health Surveys
    Surveys in over 85 countries. Focus on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender issues, and nutrition. Coverage includes low and middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Europe.
  • The World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study Surveys
    Around 90 surveys in 40+ primarily middle-income countries from 1985 to present. Key topics of household questionnaire: consumption, income, savings, employment, health, education, fertility, nutrition, housing and migration
  • Unicef's Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys
    Designed to assess progress on World Fit for Children Plan of Action and Millennium Development Goals. Good coverage of low-income countries. Focus on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, very limited demographic and income/employment information.
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Surveys
    Cover Africa, Asia and Latin America. The household and community surveys include several surveys of household characteristics, consumption and health as well as agricultural information and land use. Their data also includes program evaluation surveys such as the “Food for Education” study
  • World Health Organization's World Health Survey
    Canada and the U.S. are not included, but many developed and developing coutries are. To access the data you need to first complete and submit a data use agreement.
  • Pew Research Centre
    U.S. based, but Global Attitudes surveys are international. Large survey collections include including Religion & Public Life, the Global Attitudes Project, and the opinion data in the Research Center for the People & the Press.