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Health Statistics

This guide is intended to provide information for locating health statistics (data) at the local, state and national levels.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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Finding health statistics can be a daunting task.  This guide is intended to help you by providing information on locating relevant data.  It includes resources available through the Internet or at the Sladen Libraries.

Often a good place to start is with one of the Major Gateways.  These sites bring together large compilations of statistics and often provide links to various organizations that collect statistics on related topics. 

Don't hesitate to talk to a Sladen librarian if you need assistance, contact us at the Sladen Information Desk.

Learn More About Finding Health Statistics

Questions to Ask When Searching for Stats

  • Spend a little time thinking about the question you're trying to answer. What is your ultimate goal and use of the statistics?  Also, give some thought to the optimal place to start your search.  What agency or source would be the best place to answer your question.  Federal, state and local agencies publish a lot of statistics and so do nonprofit organizations (e.g. American Cancer Society).
  • The quality of statistical data can vary substantially.  Consider who collected the data and why.  Evaluate the source of the statistics.  Does the  organization have a bias for the data to support their point of view?  ​
    • Were good statistical methods used?  How was the data collected? Were sound sampling procedures followed?  What population was studied?  Were good methods used to interpret the data? 
  • How current is the information?  It can be tough to find current statistics. Sometimes the process to collect, interpret, make inferences and ultimately publish statistics may take years.
  • The statistic you need may be buried deep in a table or journal article.  If this is the case, ask a Sladen librarian to help you with formulating your literature search. 
  • The same information may be collected by different agencies, but the statistical result may vary because different survey methods, sampling or categorization were used. 

Sladen Librarian

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Brianna Andre
Sladen Library
2799 W. Grand Blvd.
Henry Ford Hospital, K-17
Detroit, MI 48202