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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.
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.
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.
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.
Search for aggregated statistics by subject, geography or by survey or statistical program. Search tips:
- Some customization is available by using the Add/Remove data feature at the top of most tables. Each table will also reference the CANSIM number previously applied to each data table.
- 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.
Find latest data from the 2016 Census
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.
PCCF and PCCF+
The Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) provides a link between the six-character postal codes and census geographic areas such as dissemination areas, census tracts and others. Different from PCCF, PCCF+ is a SAS program using a population weighted random algorithm to increase accuracy where postal codes span over more than one geographic area. For more information, please refer to this guide by Queens University Library.
PCCF and PCCF+ are accessible to SFU researchers via Abacus:
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
Please refer to the SFU Library's guide on Finding Statistics on British Columbia
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.
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
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 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.
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
Inter-American Development Bank
Key development indicators for Latin American and Caribbean countries related to their macroeconomic profile, global integration, and social outlook.
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 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.
Please refer to the SFU Library's Citing guide for Statistics Canada, PCensus and CHASS data.