You may have heard that some data produced by the US federal government has been disappearing, or being made harder to locate.
EDGI (Environmental Data & Governance Initiative) is actively working on archiving federal data, monitoring federal websites, and more. Their website has ways you can get involved in this work.
You may also be interested in this database of government actions targeting scientific research and education on climate change
Lots of health data comes from surveys. Here are some issues to consider when looking at survey or estimated data:
(Adopted from information formerly on the UCSF Family Health Outcomes Project website)
Reliable data collection: relatively free from "measurement error."
Validity refers to how well a measure assesses what it claims to measure
(Adopted from Chapter 3, Conducting research literature reviews: from the Internet to paper, by Arlene Fink; Sage, 2010.)
This blog post explains, in the most elementary language possible, how even simple statistics vary depending on who you ask, ie, where you put the locus of power (or centre of power) in your analysis.
Statistics and data are available for a lot of things that maybe aren't directly "health" but are very much relevant to public health. Here's a few to pique your interest
Data and Statistics, California Department of Education
Data on school enrollment, non-English language learners, free lunch numbers, teacher data, class size, and much more.
Calif. Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control: License query system
Find liquor stores, bars, etc. by address, census tract, city. Can also search by business name, licensee name, license number.
Traffic Data Branch (CalTrans)
Traffic volumes, truck traffic, and ramp volume for California state highways. View tables, or download data as Excel files.
QuickFacts (US Census)
Quickly get recent state, county, and city demographics (including age, race/ethnicity, income/employment, residence, and more - a huge amount of statistics) and business information. Use American Factfinder to locate detailed Census tables.
» Get data: Census data is available form several sources
Access to a variety of reports, guidelines, and text-based and numeric databases, including vital statistics, environment, population, disease and disability, immunization, behavior and health, injuries, occupational health, and more.
» Export data to a tab-delimited text file
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
NHANES is a survey that collects information about the health and diet of people in the United States. It is unique in that it combines a home interview with health tests that are done in a mobile examination center.
» Data is available under each survey year (eg, here is the link to 2013-2014 data)
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
The CHRs measure health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income, and teen births in nearly every county in America. Roadmaps provide guidance and tools to understand the data, and strategies that communities can use to move from education to action.
» Get Data!
California Health Interview Survey: AskCHIS
Quick access to state and local data on hundreds of health topics. Run your own customized search using AskCHIS (requires one-time, free registration), review publications and data summaries, and more. CHIS is the largest state health survey in the USA.
Use AskCHIS NE to get estimates on top health indicators by zip code, city, legislative district.
» Get Data!
Health Indicators Map Gallery
Designed for Community Health Needs Assessments. Pre-made, interactive maps of the United States down to census tract level for demographics, social and economic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, clinical care, and health outcomes.
» Information on obtaining data is here.
Lead-Poisoned Children in the U.S. (California Environmental Health Tracking Program)
Information on the number of lead-exposed children (by PUMA) and the effectiveness of state screening and testing practices.
Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (HRSA)
Includes national and state-level data on hundreds of child health indicators from the National Survey of Children’s Health, National Health Interview Survey Child Component, Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services, and National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.
» Get (NSCH) Data! (The other surveys also have data analysis pages)
Find, customize, and share data on more than 400 measures of child health and well being. Data are available for every legislative district, city, county, and school district in California. Easily incorporate data into reports, presentations, grant proposals, policy decisions, media stories, and advocacy work. Search by region, by demographic group, or by topic.
» Download data to Excel
OECD Health Statistics
Tables on health and health systems across OECD countries. OECD Health is an interactive database comprising data on a range of topics on the health care systems in the OECD Member countries and Accession countries, which are presented in a demographic, economic and social context. Some time series go back as far as 1960.
» Download data to Excel, CSV, PC-axis, XML.
Demographic and Health Surveys
Collects, analyzes, and disseminates data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition in over 90 countries. Data is available using the STATcompiler that allows users to select numerous countries and hundreds of indicators to create customized tables.
» Data access requires one-time, free registration.
Online query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. It provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization. From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US DHHS.
» Get Data!
Statista provides access to quantitative facts on media, business, politics, and other areas. Sources of information include market research reports, trade publications, scientific journals, and government sources. Health-related topics include health systems, care and support, the state of health, medical technology, pharmaceutical products and their market, and physicians, hospitals and pharmacies.
» Download data into spreadsheets and presentations.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (US DHHS)
SAMHDA provides public-use data files, file documentation, and access to restricted-use data files from numerous series on substance abuse and mental health in the US.
» You can get data from links provided in each series/survey.
PeriStats is developed by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center and provides access to maternal and infant health data for the United States and by state or region, including more than 60,000 graphs, maps, and tables.
» Export data as a CSV file.