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Finding Health Data and Statistics: US Government Data

This guide provides websites and resources for finding data sets and statistics in the area of health and health care.

Access to Data Files

In many cases access to microdata files will be readily available on the individual survey websites.  Visit the Data Access pages from NCHS for direct links to public-use data files and documention.

Check the ICPSR Data Archive.

Online data analysis tools may also be available on the survey website or through DataFerrett.  Take a look at the Data Access Tools from NCHS for more information.  Note the Integrated Health Interview Series from the Minnesota Population Center which provides access to microdata from the National Health Interview Survey.

Working with Restricted Data

Department of Health and Human Services

This is an excellent source of all data collection and analysis programs for each sub-agency of the department.  It lists every survey, study and data collection initiate of the DHHS.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is a cabinet-level executive agency of the United States Government.  It is tasked to protect health and provide human services for all Americans.  This is the federal organization under which almost all health-related data and statistics are produced. 

Eleven agencies fall under the DHHS, and each may be responsible for collecting data in areas relevant to their mission:

  1. Administration for Children & Families
  2. Administration on Aging
  3. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease
  5. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  6. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  7. Food & Drug Administration
  8. Health Resources & Services Administration
  9. Indian Health Service
  10. National Institutes of Health
  11. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the largest producer of data out of all the other DHHS agencies.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is an agency of the CDC.  NCHS is the U.S. government’s principal vital and health statistics agency.  Major NCHS data systems and surveys include:

Other Government Data Sources

Although the DHHS is the main producer of government health data, there are other government agencies that report on health-related data.  For example:

Census Bureau
The Census Bureau collects demographic information that is used to develop a baseline understanding about a population.  Topics such as health insurance and disability are also included in Census Bureau data collection programs.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Primarily collecting data on labor and employment, the BLS also provides reports on occupational injuries and fatalities.

Department of Agriculture
The USDA provides statistics on farming and agriculture.  You'll also find reports on nutrition and food intake of the population.

State and Local Health Agencies
Local information will be reported by state health departments.