Statistics and Datasets


The following sources are just a small number of the datasets available, many of which are free.  Most can be used by you to generate graphs, charts, etc. in MS-Excel and SAS among other software packages.

One of the reasons for this guide is to help you, the user find data and statistics. Another is to educate you in how important data is in our lives both in and out of school to help us make decisions.

The following article from the Harvard Business Review makes for an interesting read: Data is Useless Without the Skills.

“Data literacy”: competence in finding, manipulating, managing, and interpreting data, including not just numbers but also text and images.

Tips for Finding Datasets

One can use the Advanced Search in Google to look for available datasets. In the following example, we are looking for government datasets in an MS-Excel (.xls) format about firearms, specifically pistols or handguns.

Subject Headings

The following are some suggested subject headings/keywords to use when looking for books and articles.

data literacy
quantitative literacy
statistical literacy
quantitative Research
decision making--data processing

Instructor's Resources : Pathway to Quantitative Literacy in the Social Sciences
ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) Data Search-find data by topic, geography, etc.
Teaching with Data Blog
Data in the News highlights current events and news articles that they reference. You may use these as discussion and teaching tools to talk about data, its uses and how to interpret the numbers.
Improve Your Data Literacy: 16 Blogs to Follow

How to get data into a chart format: . Useful tutorials on a wide variety of subjects. Might be used for explaining how to use MS-Excel for example to make tables, charts and graphs with data that you find and how to possibly best present data that you find. An example is here, and can be embedded into Sakai. Creating Charts

Library Databases -Statistical Emphasis

A statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources.  The content is purely aggregated statistics, geared towards business and marketing statistical needs, with a focus on current awareness.  Easy-to-use infographics and tables are available for download as images to insert into presentations.
Polling the Nations
A compilation of public opinion surveys, containing the full text of questions and responses from 14,000 surveys from 1986 to the present in the United States and more than 80 other countries. Each record includes the polling organization responsible for the poll, the sample size and the date the poll was released.
SMA | Sports Market Analytics
Full text of current market research and industry news covering all facets of the sports industry: sports equipment sales, sports participation, sports broadcasting, sports sponsorship, sports market information, and sports sponsorship. SBRnet also has buyTRACK, by Harris Interactive, a tracking study of sporting goods purchasing habits on the Internet.
Simmons OneView
Simmons OneView(formerly Simmons Choices3) provides access to U.S. adult (18+) consumer data on product and brand usage, spending behavior, media usage/habits, and more. It can be used to create custom reports which analyze demographic and/or psychographic characteristics of product users and their media behavior.  It allows cross tabulation of hundreds of consumer product categories and usage data for over 8,000 brands, inclusive consumer media habits, diverse demographic categories and psychographic (attitudinal and lifestyle) profiles.  It consists of three parts: National Consumer Study (NCS), National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) and New Media. Most recent data available is at least two years old. Our license allows for five simultaneous users. . Guides to using this resource are on the right under Using Simmons OneView.
International Financial Statistics (International Monetary Fund)
Time series data for major economic aggregates as well as current data on exchange rates, international liquidity, international banking, currency, interest rates, prices, production, trade, government accounts, GDP, and national accounts. Help in using this resource can be found here: Searching International Financial Statistics pdf
Vital Statistics of the United States (VSUS)
Monthly and cumulative data on births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, and infant deaths for States and the United States are presented with brief analyses of the vital statistics.
OECD iLibrary
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's online library of statistical databases, books, and periodicals. Its materials focus on economic and social issues, health, trade, education, communication and information technologies, energy, development, and science and innovation.

Science Sources

National Science Foundation Data Tools
A variety of table generating tools and sets from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
DataDryad provides free data sets and other educational resources. Primarily biology data.

DataOne is a data repository containing biological and environmental data sets. DataOne is easy to search and use.

Aggregated Governmental & Non-Governmental So

Federal Data Sources from Journalist's Resource
From unemployment levels and energy usage to housing patterns and rates of violent crime, the 13 federal principal statistical agencies of the United States produce vitally important public data. From the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Media, Politics and Public Policy
Google Public Data Explorer
Wide range of publicly available datasets from governmental and NGO agencies.
The purpose of is "to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government."  The site includes searchable data catalogs providing access to data in three ways: through the "raw" data catalog, the tool catalog, and the geodata catalog.
Gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. federal agencies that provide data and trend information on topics such as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more.  
Data Refuge
Helps to build refuge for federal data and supports climate and environmental research and advocacy. We are committed to fact-based arguments. DataRefuge preserves the facts we need at a time of ongoing climate change.   This site is one part of the project. The vast majority of the government information gathered through this project is available from the Internet Archive through the End of Term project. This data catalog is a place to store data that is difficult or impossible to harvest through web crawlers.

State of New York Open Data
Over 1,400 New York State data resources on topics ranging from farmers’ markets to solar photovoltaic projects to MTA turnstile usage. Browse and download.

Economic Data - FRED II-Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Economic data. A database of over 3000 U.S. economic time series. With FRED® II you can download data in Microsoft Excel and text formats and view charts of data series.There is now a FRED App – available free for iOS and Android Devices.  The FRED app lets you access the full range of economic data.
DataFerrett is a data analysis and extraction tool to customize federal, state, and local data to suit your requirements. Using DataFerrett, you can develop an unlimited array of customized spreadsheets that are as versatile and complex as your usage demands then turn those spreadsheets into graphs and maps without any additional software

Social Science Sources

Pew Research Center Datasets Pew Research Center's Internet Project is pleased to offer scholars access to raw data sets from our research. All uses of this data should reference the Pew Research Center as the source of the data and acknowledge that the Pew Research bears no responsibility for interpretations presented or conclusions reached based on analysis of the data. Our data sets are made available as single compressed archive files (.zip file).

"Data Journalism"-Resources from Journalist's Resource. Sources, explanations and tools to find and understand data. From the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Media, Politics and Public Policy. tools and apps  - covering a wide variety of subjects. Datasets are downloadable in .csv or MS-Excel formats.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Organization of academic and research organizations that maintains a data repository.  Offers reports and statistics across cultures, internationally, arranged by themes such as aging, demographics and race. Some data is for members only.

Health Science Sources

Hospital Compare Datasets
These are the official datasets used on the Hospital Compare Website provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These data allow you to compare the quality of care at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals across the country.
This site is dedicated to making high value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all. Over 1,500 datasets.
National Center for Health Statistics Data Warehouse
Health data at the national and state level.

International Sources

Statistical data for European Union members.
European Union Open Data Portal -The European Union Open Data Portal is the single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union (EU). Data are free for you to use.
Official Statistics on the Web (OFFSTATS)
Free statistics from official sources, including current data and time series for regions and topic categories. Many data sets are downloadable as text or spreadsheet files.