Without a doubt, the internet has made the researcher’s life much easier. Researchers interested in primary source data can now access compiled data online from various respected agencies. Below is a short list of resources for you, if you are interested in primary source data, to compile, analyze, and utilize in whichever way serves your research interests best.
A service from the CDC, the YBRSS monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. This database includes information from national school-based surveys, as well as state, territorial, tribal, and local health and education agencies.
As the URL name implies, here you will find pertinent health information compiled by state and by category. Categories include: Demographics and the Economy, Medicare, HIV/AIDS, Women’s Health, Minority Health and many others.
The Medical Expenditures Panel Survey or MEPS, has statistics on national health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage for the US non-institutionalized, civilian population.
The CDC and NCCD bring you WEAT, Web Enabled Analysis Tool, which can be used to analyze data from the BRFSS, the world’s largest telephone survey that tracks health risks in the United States. The site features two modes for data analysis: cross tabulation analysis and logistic analysis.
The US Census Bureau has been collecting population data for years, and it is available to you online, for free. Data sets include the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Puerto Rico Community Survey, Annual Population Estimates, Economic Census and the Annual Economic Survey.
This link takes you to a list of state and local public health data sets. Some of the featured sets include America’s Health Ratings from the United Health Foundation and Children of Immigrants Data Tool, from the Urban Institute, among others.
From the NIH, here is an exhaustive collection of links to data sets from US Government and non-governmental agencies. Information included in the list ranges from the FedStats program, Social Security Administration Data, and VA Data Sources to the Evidence Database on Aging Care from the New York Academy of Medicine.
The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a picture of global health with fast facts, and a more in-depth look at health statistics worldwide with data by country, and by topic. The site features a tool that allows you to make your own custom data sheet.
The World Health Organization links to its section on Data and Statistics, and highlights special projects. Also, WHO offers a list of databases from which data can be gathered—like the Global Health Observatory and Regional Statistics.
In a single electronic platform, the WHO’s Communicable Disease Global Atlas is bringing together for analysis and comparison standardized data and statistics for infectious diseases at country, regional, and global levels.
DHS or the Demographic and Health Surveys has been collecting data since 1984 in order to plan, monitor and improve, population, health, and nutrition programs. Representative data in the areas of fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and nutrition are available at this site.