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Data Resources and Support: Health

Support for locating and working with datasets, statistical information, and geographic data.


Area Resource File (ARF) -- The ARF is a database of health resources data, measured at the county level for over 6,000 indicators. The information includes measures of employment in various health professions; availability of health facilities; and frequency of utilization; hospital and Medicare expenditures. The database is freely available to download.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) -- The BRFSS was established by the Centers for Disease Control to provide data on personal behaviors that present health risks (e.g. alcohol and tobacco consumption, exercise patterns, dietary issues). The site provides both time-series data at the national and state levels for various categories of "behavioral risk" and also microdata files from which the national and state estimates are produced.

Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) -- This site is hosted by the National Cancer Institute. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (SEER) allows access to numerous cancer statistics and databases as well as to some limited online analysis.

CDC Wonder -- This site is hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and is a portal to numerous studies concerning health-related topics such as AIDS/STDs, risk behaviors (the Behavioral Risk Surveillance System), mortality and natality statistics. There are several online data tools as well as a link to the SEER database.

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) -- The DHS is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development to promote better gathering of survey data on health issues pertaining to family life and reproductive health in developing countries. Aggregated data from DHS surveys are readily accessible via the STATcompiler interface that allows for on-line visualization and for download in tabular form. Microdata files from the surveys are also available upon registration and application for access.

Health in the United States -- Health in the United States is produced by the National Center for Health Statistics and is a yearbook of statistics on health indicators. Data from tables in the HUS are available in both .pdf and Excel. Note that data coverage at the state level is more limited than that for the national level.

Health Indicators Warehouse -- The Heath Indicators Warehouse was a very useful catalog of of data on a variety of health-related topics such as maternal health, mortality, risk behaviors, and health infrastructure, with data available at national, state, and/or county levels depending on the indicator. The site is no longer available, but you can access its list of data sources and its lists of indicators via the Internet Archive.

HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base -- The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Database contains data on estimates of HIV/AIDS prevalence and is, to quote the website, "a compilation of information from those studies appearing in the medical and scientific literature, presented at international conferences, and appearing in the press."

IPUMS Global Health -- IPUMS Global Health provides access to "harmonized international survey data on maternal, child, and reproductive health." The IPUMS-DHS data are taken from DHS data collected in African and South Asian countries. The IPUMS-PMA data cover family planning, water/sanitation, and menstrual hygeine and are taken from the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 data.

IPUMS Health Surveys -- The University of Minnesota's IPUMS project has created harmonized microdata from the National Health Interview Surveys series and harmonized the data for easier comparisons over time. The integrated data consist of samples from different iterations of the NHIS dating back to the 1960s. IPUMS has a similar project for data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey series. IPUMS also provides harmonized microdata from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) -- The NCHS, which is part of the CDC, contains much data on various health indicators at both national and state levels. The Data Warehouse may be of particular interest, as it provides access to public-use microdata from surveys such as the National Health Interview Survey. The National Vital Statistics System may also be of interest for data and historical reports on births, deaths, and marriages.

National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) -- The NSFG is an on-going survey series focusing on matters of family history and reproductive history (e.g. marital history, childbirth, usage of contraceptives) as well as more general matters such as employment history and demographics. The latest wave of the NSFG is also available on CD-ROM in the Data Center. Older waves are also available via the Social Science Electronic Data Library and in harmonized form via the Integrated Fertility Survey Series.

Social Science Electronic Data Library (SSEDL)--The Social Science Electronic Data Library is an archive of over 300 datasets covering a variety of topic areas, including Adolescent Pregnancy, Aging, AIDS/STD's, the American Family, Disability in the US, and Maternal Drug Abuse. The archive is well-indexed and allows variable-level searches. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory. Many of the older studies are also available on CD-ROM's in the Data Center.

Sortable Health Factors and Risk Indicators -- To quote the website, "Sortable Stats is an interactive data set comprised of behavioral risk factors and health indicators. This data set compiles state level data for the 50 states, DC, and U.S. territories from various published CDC and federal sources into a format that allows users to view, sort, and analyze data at state, regional, and national levels." BE WARNED - while the site is very accessible and easy to use, it also requires that you install and enable Microsoft Silverlight.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) -- UNICEF is a great source for cross-national indicators on the health and well-being of children and their mothers. Much of UNICEF's indicators are derived from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, data from which are available upon application.

World Bank Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Data and Statistics -- HealthStats is "the World Bank’s comprehensive database of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) statistics," covering topics such as reproductive health, population growth, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and health facilities. The data are accessible through various means, such as via an interface that allows for both queries and bulk downloads and via tools to break health data down by household wealth.

World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Estimates -- The WHO's Global Health Estimates "provide a comprehensive and comparable assessment of mortality and loss of health due to diseases and injuries for all regions of the world." The data cover topics such as life expectancy, mortality, causes of death, and disability-adjusted life years.

World Health Organization (WHO) Health Statistics and Information Systems -- The WHO's Health Statistics and Information Systems compiles various resources related to health data and indicators, including a registry of health-related indicators with definitions and sources and links to various WHO databases for health measures.

World Health Organization Mortality Database -- The WHO's Mortality Database provides aggregated mortality counts and cause-of-death statistics and (very large) raw data files for more advanced analysis.

World Health Organization Global Health Observatory (GHO) -- The Global Health Observatory is a helpful source of data on numerous international/cross-national health-related topics. The site also contains many links to other sources of cross-national health data, such as the GHO Data Repository.

World Population Prospects -- This database is produced by the United Nations' Population Division and contains cross-national data on basic population demographics and vital statistics (e.g. birth and death rates, maternal mortality, population by age and gender and urban/rural areas, median age of population). Data are available in five-year increments back to 1950 and with projections up to 2050. See for other data from the Population Division.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) -- The YRBSS is similar to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, but focuses specifically on adolescents. Harmonized microdata from the YRBSS for the years 1991-2013 are also available via the IPUMS YRBSS Data.

Data Services

Robert O'Reilly, Ph.D's picture
Robert O'Reilly, Ph.D
404-727-6129 (P)

Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS)

Woodruff Library, 3rd Floor

ECDS Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-5:00PM

We help researchers with locating quantitative data and with cleaning and preparing data for analysis.
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