Library:Finding and Using Data for your Research/Social/International

From UBC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search



  • Research data sets from around the world, collected by the library.
  • Data sets of interest include: US Census, National Opinion Research Center General Social Survey (NORC-GSS), ICPSR surveys, World Values Surveys, Gallup polls, Voice of the People surveys, Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Latinobarometro.
by debcbalducci from Pixabay, CC0

American Community Survey

  • An ongoing survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, sampling a small percentage of the U.S. population every year. Its focus is on social topics and includes a fairly in depth look at housing situations, while basic demographic and some economic factors are also evaluated.
  • Information on methodology can be found under the Data & Documentation tab.

Census of India

  • 2001 only - need to check this.

China Data Online

  • Monthly and yearly reports on China's macroeconomic development, statistical databases on China's population and economy at the county and city level, and financial indicators of industries.
  • Managed by the University of Michigan China Data Center. Information is not provided about the data sources or instruments used to collect the data.


  • A coordinated statistical agency for all countries in the Eurozone. Collects economic, environmental and population data.
  • Data can be accessed through the online Statistics Database from the home page. Individual data files can be downloaded by selecting the Statistics tab in the top menu bar and browsing the files. Information about the methodology can be found in the Metadata menu on the left hand side in this section. Specific methodological information for individual datasets can be accessed along with them.


  • The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), part of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, has served social scientists around the world for decades by providing a central repository and dissemination service for machine-readable social science data. The Archive receives, processes, and distributes data on social phenomena occurring in over 130 countries and currently has holdings in excess of 500,000 machine-readable files representing over 7,500 research studies.
by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay, CC0

IMF Data

  • Annual, monthly, and quarterly financial and economic time series cover more than 200 countries and 40 regional and special groups of countries.
  • Use for: finding data on the following topics: Balance of payments, Banking and Financial systems, Employment, Exchange rates, Fund position, Finance, Government finance, Interest rates, International liquidity and Banking, National accounts, Population, Prices, Production, and Trade.
  • Users can select predefined data reports by Country, Topic and Data Source, or can build their own queries across or within datasets. Results can then be exported or manipulated and visualized within the online tool. Monthly training webinars are available, information can be found here.


  • Latinobarómetro is an annual public opinion survey that involves some 19,000 interviews in 18 Latin American countries, representing more than 400 million inhabitants.
  • The Databank tab gives you access to a downloadable file for each year of the survey (older ones are free, most recent ones must be purchased). Some of these are also available through Abacus, so check there or with the library before purchasing. This page also gives information about licensing and use. The Documents tab contains links to methodological information, including the codebook.

National Sample Survey of India (CD-ROM)

  • India's National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) continuously collects social, economic, demographic, industrial and agricultural statistics through sample surveys on countrywide basis.
  • Data sets held by the library are current to 2009. The datasets have been individually catalogued online, with good information about what the data sets contain and how the data was collected, but the data sets themselves generally cannot be accessed this way.
Ridington Room, UBC Library by UBC Library Communications from Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

OECDstat via OECD iLibrary

  • Select the Statistics tab from the OECD iLibrary site, then select OECD.Stat under the Databases column. One the next page, select the Data icon, which will lead you to the datasets.
  • OECD iLibrary provides online access to all books, journals, statistical series and databases originating from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since 1998. UBC has access to the International Energy Agency's IEA Databases and to OECD.Stat.
  • OECD publications cover economic and social issues including trade, education, labour, social policy, health, finance, development, energy, environment, and science and innovation.

Polling the Nations

  • A comprehensive collection of public opinion, with information from the United States and more than 90 other countries around the world, covering Europe, Canada, Mexico, Africa, and Asia. The database includes the full text of questions and responses covering a broad range of issues. Polling the Nations has collected more than 500,000 questions from Gallup, Harris and Roper as well as more than 700 other organizations.
  • There are 5,000 topics in the Polling the Nations database, covering issues such as gun control, abortion, government, women, race relations, the economy, and children. In addition to these recurring themes, episodic events such as the Clinton impeachment, the 2000 vote count in Florida, and the September 11 attacks are added in a timely fashion.

Proquest Statistical Insight

  • An important resource for locating government statistics - US government statistical publications, as well as those of international intergovernmental organizations such as the UN, European Union, OECD, IMF, Asian Development Bank, etc. Includes online tables for US federal agencies and for the World Bank, and links to government statistical resources on the Web.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

  • Founded in 1947, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is the leading educational facility in the field of public opinion. It holds the most complete collection of public opinion information in existence, from the United States and international sources.
  • Special features include iPOLL, a database organized at the question-level providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national [U.S.] public opinion surveys since 1935.
  • RoperExpress is a data access tool introduced in October, 2005, for on-demand download of data. Faculty and students at member institutions now have unlimited access to those datasets in the Roper Center collection that are in ASCII or SPSS portable formats.


  • Internet-based mapping application that enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data.
by werner22brigitte from Pixabay, CC0

UN Data

  • Covers all countries and areas, drawing selectively on statistics from throughout the UN system to bring them together in a common platform and interface using global statistical standards. Selective summary tables cover agriculture, population, industry, national accounts, energy, health, human development, trade, refugees, education, employment, and information and communication technology.
  • Tables are taken from databases and sources published in the extended United Nations system, including the ILO'S Yearbook of Labour Statistics and Key Indicators of the Labour Market; the World Bank's World Development Indicators; the IMF's International Financial Statistics; the WHO's World Health Statistics Annual; various UNICEF and UNESCO publications; the Demographic Yearbook, Energy Statistics Yearbook, National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables, and many more.
  • Use keywords to search for datasets in the main search box. To browse datasets, select the Databases tab. Each database provides a list of the datasets it contains, which can be viewed individually. When viewing datasets, they can be manipulated within the portal (eg. to examine a single country) or the dataset can be downloaded to in order to work with it in your preferred software.
  • UN data is compiled from a variety of sources including national statistics agencies, so the survey instrument may be different for each country's data. Source information for each dataset can be found near the bottom of the page when viewing the dataset. Data and Statistics

  • Data and statistics organized by topic, including Government, Business and Economic, Family and Community, Environment, and more.

WorldBank Data

  • Statistical data for over 550 development indicators and time series data from 1960 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups in World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators, and other databases. Data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental indicators.
  • Users can browse by country, topic, indicator. Datasets can be downloaded or else viewed and manipulated in the online visualization and analysis tool at

World Values Survey

  • The WVS is the largest non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed.
  • It consists of nationally representative surveys conducted in almost 100 countries, covering data from 1981 to 2014.