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Statistical resources: Data & statistics information

The following selected resources are drawn from national agencies, intergovernmental organizations and other official sources of statistics. Use these resources when you:

  • Need processed data, or data that have been analyzed in some way
  • Wish to support an argument or position in a study or report and don't need to process raw data
  • Want to use something presentation ready

Refer to Microdata resources for data resources.

If you need help, please contact Carla Graebner, Librarian for Data Services and Government Information at 778.782.6881 or cgraebne@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

Sources by category

Statistics usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Official Statistics: collected and published by governmental or inter-governmental agencies/organizations (for example, economic or demographic statistics)
  • Unofficial Statistics: produced by commercial entities or by non-profit organizations (trade associations will publish statistics relevant to their industries, non-profit organizations will collect statistics relevant to their mandate).

Identifying official and unofficial statistics

The following chart may assist in identifying official and unofficial statistics.

Sources by category

Identifying official and unofficial statistics flowchart description:

  1. Official
    1. Intergovernmental
      1. United Nations
      2. World Bank
      3. IMF
      4. WHO
    2. Governmental (Canada)
      1. Federal
        1. Statistics Canada
        2. Health Canada
        3. Open Government
      2. Provincial
        1. BC Stats
        2. Provincial Health Authorities
      3. Municipal
        1. Metro Vancouver Statistics
  2. Unofficial
    1. Non-Profit
      1. Think Tanks
      2. Trade / Professional Associations
      3. NGOs
      4. Academic Research
    2. Commercial
      1. Euromonitor
      2. EIU
      3. IMS Health

Canada

Statistics Canada

Under the Statistics Act, Statistics Canada is required to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and conditions of the people of Canada.

Statistics Canada Web update

Effective June 4, 2018, the Statistics Canada Website has undergone significant changes

The following is a sample list ofchanges. Further functionality will be rolled out over the next few months but, most significantly, the way you access CANSIM will change

  • Simpler access to data, analytical products and reference products through searching, sorting and filters.
  • Content will be grouped into three categories: Data, Analysis and Reference.
  • Users will have more ways to customize data.
  • CANSIM has been replaced by a more effective means of searching however you will still be able to search tables using "old" CANSIM numbers or vectors.
  • Beyond 20/20 formats have been retired for all non-Census data tables,
  • New application programming interfaces will allow for direct access to Statistics Canada aggregate data holdings.
  • GeoSearch will include both Census and non-Census data to CMA level.

For further information on what has changed, see "A better web experience - Finding data just got easier"

    The Daily
    The Daily is Statistics Canada's official release bulletin providing information on new products along with information on current social and economic conditions in Canada. Start with The Daily to find information on a particular topic, links to statistical tables and further resources.

    CANSIM
    Effective June 4, CANSIM has been discontinued via Statistics Canada.

    CANSIM tables have been replaced by data tables with the same or similar content that have a consistent presentation and that will be dynamically updated as new results are released.

    You can find a former CANSIM table by using the "Filter results by keyword(s)" option to type the number of the corresponding data table (e.g. 282-0023 and not CANSIM 282-0023). Redirects have also been implemented from former content to the equivalent new content. A concordance table between old CANSIM table numbers and new table numbers is available online.

    CANSIM via CHASS
    CHASS will continue to provide access to CANSIM tables released prior to June 4, 2018. Access to data released after June 4, 2018 will be available but some of the previous search features will no longer be available. Please refer to the "New CHASS CANSIM Front-end Website Changes" guide.

    Census
    For help with using the Census, please refer to the SFU Library's Guide on the Canadian Census which provides detailed information on census related topics.

    Find latest data from the 2016 Census

    Census Analyzer
    The Canadian Census Analyzer provides access to Canadian census data, along with data from the National Household Survey, by various levels of geography including Census Tract (CTs), Dissemination Areas (DAs), census subdivisions (CSDs), census divisions (CDs)*, federal electoral districts (FEDs), forward sortation areas (first three digits of a postal code), provinces/territories, and Canada.

    Historical Statistics of Canada
    contains about 1,088 statistical tables on the social, economic and institutional conditions of Canada from the start of the Confederation in 1867 to the mid-1970s. The tables are arranged in sections with an introduction explaining the content of each section, the principal sources of data for each table, and general explanatory notes regarding the statistics.

    Beyond 20/20: Please note that in order to effectively use many of Statistics Canada datasets, you'll need to download the Beyond 20/20 Professional Browser which is a free, downloadable utility. If you have any questions, please refer to the Beyond 20/20 User Guide.

    Other sources

    Government of Canada
    Find direct links to statistics produced by government departments and agencies

    Canadian Institute for Health Information
    CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians

    British Columbia

    Please refer to the SFU Library's guide on Finding Statistics on British Columbia

    United States

    Fedstats
    More than 70 agencies in the United States Federal Government produce statistics of interest to the public. The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by these agencies for public use. Most require use of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    US Bureau of the Census
    ​Locate detailed US socio-economic statistics based on the US Census and other surveys.

    Statistical Abstract of the United States (2012 - )
    The Statistical Abstract compiles statistics drawn from the US Census, Current Population Surveys and other sources both governmental and private. The Statistical Abstract provides detailed source notes so you can locate the original source from which the tables are composed. While largely federal in nature, there are many relevant state-level tables.

    1878 - 2012 via the US Bureau of the Census
    Note! Since tables within one edition do not necessarily correspond to tables containing the same information in another edition, have a look at their concordance (2006 - 2009).

    Historical Statistics of the United States
    Topics ranging from migration and health to crime and the Confederate States of America are each placed in historical context by a recognized expert in the field. This fully searchable database will permit users to graph individual tables and create customized tables and spreadsheets reflecting their own particular areas of interest

    Bureau of Labor Statistics
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

    Bureau of Economic Analysis
    BEA produces economic accounts statistics by collecting source data, conducting research and analysis, developing and implementing estimation methodologies

    DataLumos

    DataLumos is an ICPSR archive for valuable government data resources and is a good resource for accessing data when other sources are unavailable.

    International

    African Development Bank Data Portal

    Asian Development Bank

    International Historical Statistics                                                                                                                                                                                             For SFU researchers: Access 490 tables, covering data on over 200 countries and territories; provides unique historical data for Africa, Asia & Oceania, ranging from 1750-2010. Content is available in either pdf or excel format and is compatible with econometrics tools. Consistent sources and collation method allowing for comparison of tables across volumes 

    International Monetary Fund (IMF)
    Range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators.

    OECD iLibrary
    OECD iLibrary provides electronic access to books, periodicals and statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

    SpatialDataOnline's Free Mapping Online

    This web based spatial system offers tens of thousands of free maps from US and China census data and business data. It also allows users to upload their data (in Excel file) to the system and make US or China maps online without any GIS tools and experience. This service is free for public.

    World Bank
    Free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe

    World Trade Organization
    Detailed statistics on key infrastructure services (transportation, telecommunications, finance and insurance) for selected economies; time series of international trade statistics

    European Union

    Eurostat
    Provides direct and free of charge online access to all its statistical databases and associated electronic publications. The Eurostat database is updated twice a day and covers the European Union, EU member states, the Euro Zone, Candidate Countries and EFTA States.

    United Nations

    United Nations Statistical Databases
    Access to the UN Commodity Trade Statistics database, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics Online, National Accounts and various demographic databases.

    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    Covers international trade, economic trends, foreign direct investment, population and labor force, commodities, information economy and maritime transport dating back to 1948 in many cases

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    The primary source for cross-nationally comparable statistics on education, science and technology, culture, and communication for more than 200 countries and territories.

    Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
    Provides access to statistics related to economic and social development in the Latin American and Caribbean region

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistical Database (FAOSTAT)
    FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries

    International Labour Organization (ILO)
    Access to cross-country statistics on the labour market; contains over 100 indicators covering more than 230 countries and economies.

    Citing statistics

    Please refer to the SFU Library's Citing guide for Statistics Canada, PCensus and CHASS data.