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Anthropology 385SWR Global Health: Anthropological Approaches: Statistics

Spring 2009, Dr. Peter Brown

Useful Emory Websites

*** THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO START: Emory's Electronic Data Center has a great website with many links to statistical information. Their Browse the Data Freeway webpage organizes these links by subjects such as: Health, Social Indicators, Census & Demography. This is a very useful site!!


Emory's Health Library has Subject Guides on Global Health and Global Health Policy on its website that are very useful. They list useful databases, organizations, and research/statistical sites with global health related information. There are also Subject Guides related to other Public Health issues. This is a great place to start looking for information.

Health Specific Data: International Stats

WHOSIS (World Health Organization Statistical Information System)  includes international health statistics/reports.  Use the QUICK SEARCH or DETAILED SEARCH to search for your countries.  Many health stats are available on this site -- explore the links on the WHOSIS site.

Also note, the LINKS link in the left column lists some useful websites including the WHO's "Links to National Health-related Websites", which lists links to other countries' national health info/stats.

World Health Report Published annually by WHO. Each year has a different focus (e.g. 2001 on mental health)

UNDP Human Development Reports can also provide very useful information. Look at the different national and regional reports -- these will have good information about your countries.  Also check out the Statistics link at the top of the website.

From the UNDP website, the link in the left-hand navigation bar to "Publications" also has useful reports and papers, especially the link to "Background Papers: Background research, thematic papers, issue notes" (which is under the "Human Development Reports and related" section), which links to papers written to support the 2003 report on the MDGs, among other reports -- browse to see if there is an article on your country.

General Indicators

World Development Indicators Online (international, statistics)
GET STATS EASILY!!! GREAT SOURCE! World Development Indicators (WDI) is the World Bank's annual compilation of data/statistics about development; provides direct access to more than 550 development (economic and social) indicators for 208 countries from 1960 to 2001. Online format allows you to select the countries, indicators, and years in which you are interested and create customized tables.

US Census Bureau
Vital stats and context/socioeconomic data; not really health data. Data collected every 10 yrs; non-census years its often hard to get more detailed info.  Most online data is from the 1990 and 2000 censuses, but there is some historical data (back to 1940s?) in some areas. Information can be viewed at the state level.

Statistical Abstract of the United States (print version) for older demographic/socioeconomic data broken down by state. Located in Government Docments (GOVDOCS) on the 1st floor of the Main Library, call numbers beginning with T 37.10: and C 18.14: (see EUCLID for more info.)

Health Specific Data: US Stats

CDC Click on the "Diseases and Conditions" link in the "Health and Saftey Topics" section OR click on the link to "Data & Statistics" in the box in the middle of the page to discover to some good information/data. EXPLORE the CDC site! All kinds of information is available on the site, but sometimes you have to dig and data is often accessible via links that might not sound as if they are directly related to your topic.

CDC Wonder includes an arrray of health related data sets that allows you to search and read published documents including reports, recommendations and guidelines, articles and statistical research data published by CDC, as well as reference materials and bibliographies on health-related topics; query numeric data sets on CDC's mainframe and other computers, via "fill-in-the blank" web pages. Public-use data sets about mortality (deaths), cancer incidence, HIV and AIDS, behavioral risk factors, diabetes, natality (births), census data and many other topics are available for query, and the requested data are readily summarized and analyzed.

NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics) (a part of the CDC) US health statistics

The three links below are some of the more useful links on the NCHS site:

  • FASTSTATS A to Z (stats by subject and by state)
  • Surveys and Data Collection Systems (ongoing/periodic suverys etc collected by NCHS)
  • NHIS Survey (National Health Interview Survey) is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States and is one of the major data collection programs of the NCHS. The main objective of the NHIS is to monitor the health of the United States population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics. A major strength of this survey lies in the ability to display these health characteristics by many demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Subject Guide

Lori Jahnke's picture
Lori Jahnke
Office Hours: Thurs 3:00-4:00pm (Rm 200, Anthropology), fall and spring semesters. By appointment in the summer.
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