Health statistics are used to understand risk factors for populations, track and monitor diseases, see the effect of policies, and assess the quality and safety of health care. Health statistics are also a form of evidence, or facts, that can support a conclusion, a recommendation or a plan of care.
It can be intimidating to locate health statistics, but with some suggestions, the task can be made easier. Keep in mind that the specific statistic you may be interested in may not always be available in the date needed or even exist to suit the information need.
Consider these recommendations when searching for health statistics or data:
- Identify the type of statistics or data need to answer your research inquiry. Do you need:
- a numerical statistic or fact, such as prevalence rates, mortality rates, or other health indicators?
- A chart or figure?
- Identify the geographical nature of your information need?
- Are you looking for a local city or town, a health district region, a province or another country?
- The answers to these questions will help determine which agency or organization to check for relevant facts.
- Identify one or more specific organizations/agencies that are most likely to collect or share the information you need such as:
- The Simcoe County District Health Unit (local statistics)
- Statistics Canada (Canada's population, resources, economy, society and culture statistics)
- World Health Organization (global health statistics and focus)