My work has always spanned several disciplines, but at its core, I spent a lot
of time thinking about social issues surrounding health. I was astonished about
how many rich sources data were available (and completely free!) from the U.S.
Here are some of my favourites.
- The National Center for Health Statistics via CDC wonder
has a wealth of
U.S. vital statistics. The CDC Wonder system provides an easy-to-use
graphical interface to specify the data you’re interested in. You can select
specific states or years, and further stratify or restrict the data you want
to best suit your needs. The NCHS compiles loads of data on mortality, births,
and health outcomes. Some things definitely worth checking out: the NHANES
and the National Health Interview Survey
- The National Longitudinal Surveys
are a set of surveys conducted by the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Each survey is longitudinal and covers
a broad range of topics including: health, employment, education, income, and
political participation. In order to access the data, you must create an
investigator account. Once logged in, you can search through lists of
variables and topics and download the things that interest you.
- The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research ICPSR
an absolute gold mine. Housing over 65,000 datasets, the ICPSR archive can
provides access to data across a wide range of domains including geography,
political science, economics, education, and epidemiology. In addition
accessing raw data, you can download study documentation such as the data
dictionaries and user guides, and see a list of publications that have used a
particular data source. Within ICPSR, the National Archive of Criminal
Justice Data (NACJD) hosts several sources of crime data including the FBI’s
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and
the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).