By the numbers: 2 useful resources for data and statistics

Data, data, data. What diligent student or researcher doesn’t need it?

There are actually tons of sites available on the web which collect data and make it available in a variety formats: raw downloadable spreadsheets, tables, figures, fact sheets, and more.  However, sometimes it is difficult to locate these sites (or determine their credibility).

Lucky for us, the Reference and User Services Association compiles a yearly list of the best free reference websites!  A committee of their experts comb the web and rank free reference sites on a variety of criteria including quality, authority, and currency.  Two of this years’ sites are dedicated to statistical data which we here in the library think you might find handy!

Unicef Country Statistics

To put it simply, Unicef collects a lot of data.  They do so using a survey called the ‘Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey’ as well as with other sources and research partners around the world.  You can learn a bit more about their data collection activities by visiting this page.

Of particular note is their ‘country statistics’ page which offers glimpses into a variety of data by country.  (Caveat: of course, there is not data available for every country).  So what type of data is available?  They offer information regarding these 14 larger categories of interest:

  • Basic Indicators
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Education
  • Demographic Indicators
  • Economic Indicators
  • Women
  • Child Protection
  • The Rate of Progress
  • Adolescents
  • Disparities By Residence
  • Disparities By Household Wealth
  • Early Childhood Development

When you select a country, the data is displayed in a list with headings for each category.  For example, here is the ‘basic indicators’ table for Thailand:

thai indicators

Click image to enlarge.


Notice that below each individual category you may select the ‘definitions and data sources’ to learn more about the measures and sources used to collect the data.

Be sure to keep this resource in mind next time you’re considering how to obtain some facts and figures from around the world to bolster an argument.  (**Note: Unicef periodically updates the information on these data pages so at times not all data is available).

FBI Crime Statistics

For those of you who may be interested in obtaining crime statistics, either local or national, you may want to take a gander at the FBI Crime Statistics website.

This office produces the Crime in the United States report which they tout as the “most comprehensive analysis of violence crime and property crime in the nation”.  You can view the interactive website for the report as well as download its data files if you wish to conduct your own analyses:

In addition to this major publication, you can also access reports and data covering these crime-related topics from the FBI Crime Statistics site:

And if that just simply is not enough crime data for you, the site links out to additional information produced by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

We hope these resource highlights will help you during the research process.  If you know of other great freely available resources, we’d love to hear about them!

Happy searching!

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