Skip to Main Content

Nursing Research Guide: Health Statistics

This research guide features resources and strategies for finding information and conducting research related to Nursing.

Introduction to Health Statistics

Several of the Jerry Falwell Library's databases provide health statistics, including Data-planet, Statistica, and PolicyMap; however, the data in these databases is usually nonproprietary and is collected by government agencies or by private organizations. This means that, at times, using websites will provide more up-to-date statistical resources. 

Health statistics are found on a variety of different websites. You should choose datasets that align with the population level that you are researching-- global, national, state, or county populations. Some websites provide several levels of data, such as the Census, which displays national, state, and community data.

To locate Health Statistics by Topic, the National Library of Medicine has created this table to help you locate health resources from reliable sources.

Steps to Finding Health Statistics:

  1. Formulate the question
  2. Choose the best resource
  3. Evaluate the results
  4. Repeat as necessary

Global Health Data

Demographic And Health Surveys (The DHS Program)

  • Global data collected and reported by USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). The DHS Program specifically focuses on low- and middle-income countries that are involved in USAID partnerships. 

Global Health Data Exchange 

  • The Global Health Data Exchange provides access to global health data, statistics, and reports. Their largest dataset is the Global Burden of Disease tool, which provides mortality rates for different diseases. 

The World Bank 

  • The World Bank provides health data; many documents and reports are financially focused and are related to the developing world. 

World Health Organization

  • The World Health Organization does have health data available, and it is important to know that the data provided is based on WHO-specific programs and initiatives. Most data from the WHO is presented in an interpreted report format. 


National Health Data - USA

National Center for Health Statistics 

  • The National Center for Health Statistics focuses on measures such as the National Health Interview Survey. Information about specific diseases and conditions is also available. 

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System - BRFSS 

  • BRFSS is a national-level survey, but each state can customize the type of questions asked to participants. While nationally funded, this database provides national and state-level data in equal measure. 

Census Bureau 

  • The Census collects a variety of data at the national, state, and community levels. It is important to remember that census data is only collected every 10 years, so more up-to-date information might be available on another website.

CDC Wonder 

  • Database of national health statistics covering a variety of topics aggregated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National Survey of Children's Health 

  • The National Survey of Children's Health provides data on aspects of children's lives including physical and mental health, access to quality health care, the child's family, neighborhood, and more. 

National Insitute of Mental Health

  • The National Institute of Mental Health provides statical information on a wide variety of mental illnesses among the U.S. population. 

Mental Health America 

  • Provides national statistics on a variety of mental health related concerns and conditions. The Mental Health America of Virginia website also has mental health resources related to Virginia. 

State & Local Health Data

State Health Facts 

  • State Health Facts is sponsored by the KFF, formally known as the Kaiser Family Foundation. The website is best navigated by using the browsing options to search by data types, such as looking for a specific disease, condition, or other healthcare topics. 

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps 

  • County Health Rankings & Roadmaps provide a health snapshot of a zip code's major health topics. 

City Health Dashboard 

  • For cities that have more than 50,000 residents, City Health Dashboard provides a wealth of resources and describes factors such as disease prevalence, healthcare coverage, and other lifestyle factors. 

Rural Health Information Hub 

  • The Rural Health Information Hub provides information for rural areas. This database is also searchable by zip code. 

Rural Health Research Gateway 

  • The Rural health Gateway provides access to research conducted by the Rural Health Research Centers, funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. 

Environmental Health Data

Environmental Justice Dashboard 

  • The Environmental Justice Dashboard provides data on environmental exposures, community characteristics, and health burdens. 

EJ Screen 

  • THE EPA's mapping and screening tool provides data for the protection of public health and the environment.