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Numeric Data

Source of microdata, aggregate data, and statistics

Welcome! This guide pulls together resources for finding numeric datasets and statistics. Email for help finding what you need.

Best bets to start

Finding Canadian & Quebec datasets

  • Canadian Census Analyser: This tool, developed at the University of Toronto, is useful for pulling particular variables from the published Census of Canada data, going back to 1961.
  • e-Data (Conference Board of Canada): Provides economic forecasts and data, such as the provinical GDP.
  • Données Québec | Data Québec: Datasets about Quebec that are available to everyone. The site contains numeric and geospatial datasets disseminated in a structured way, with an open license (i.e. Creative Commons 4.0 (CC)) which guarantees free access and reuse.
  • Institut de la statistique du Québec: Quebec's provincial statistical agency provides excellent Quebec-specific statistical information, mainly in French, on economics, health, education, population and more.
  • Montreal Open Data Portal: The city's open data portal, including data on food and agriculture, businesses and economics, education, environment, infrastructure, municipal law, society and culture, transportation, and more.
  • Odesi: A digital repository for social science data, including Statistics Canada surveys, polling data, ICPSR data, and data from various institutional repositories.
  • Statistics Canada Data: Datasets available to everyone.
  • Statistics Canada Microdata (DLI): A listing of Statistics Canada datasets, mostly survey results, available through the Data Liberation Initiative. These datasets can be accessed through Odesi or by contacting

Finding United States datasets

  • U.S. government's open data portal, with data, tools, and resources for conducting research.
  • ICPSR: The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.
  • IPUMS CPS: An integrated set of data from 1962-onwards of the March Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly U.S. household survey conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • IPUMS USA: The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA) consists of more than fifty high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses and from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2007. It assigns uniform codes across all the samples and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of social and economic change.
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research: The mission of the Roper Center is to collect, preserve, and disseminate public opinion data; to serve as a resource to help improve the practice of survey research; and to broaden the understanding of public opinion through the use of survey data in the United States and around the world.

Finding International datasets

  • International Country Risk Guide: Offers current and historical risk data, and "political, economic, financial, and social data for over 140 countries, in most cases back to 1984."
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) eLibrary: Macroeconomic and financial data, including: Balance of Payments, Direction of Trade Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, International Finance Statistics, and more.
  • IPUMS International: Census microdata from around the world.
  • OECD.Stat: Data for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Statista: Statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources, including: agriculture, advertising, health, hospitality, consumer goods, and much more. Content focuses on current business and marketing statistics (not historical).
  • Uppsala Conflict Database: Continuously collects data on armed conflicts. The definitions have gradually been refined primarily to fit scholarly requirements of global comparability. The definitions are designed so as to pick up the same phenomenon across time as well as across space. This makes the data useful for systematic studies of the origins of conflict, conflict dynamics and conflict resolution.
  • World Bank Open Data: Provides, "free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe." Among the datasets included are the World Development Indicators (WDI), Africa Development Indicators (ADI), Gender Statistics, Worldwide Governance Indicators, Global Economic Monitor (GEM), Education Statistics, etc. Most of the data is available in Arabic, French, Spanish and Chinese in addition to English.
  • World Values Survey: National surveys about values and beliefs.

Microdata vs. aggregate data

Microdata are the "raw" data, composed of individual records containing information collected on the research subjects being studied. The unit of observation is usually the individual, but can be the household, family, etc. For example, a microdata file will contain the responses of each person to different questions in a survey.

Microdata stand in contrast to more familiar "summary" or "aggregate" data. Aggregate data are compiled statistics, such as a table of marital status by sex that summarizes the responses obtained from a survey.

Microdata are inherently flexible. One need not depend on published statistics from a survey that compiled the data in a certain way. Users can generate their own statistics from the data in any manner desired, including individual-level multivariate analyses.

Quebec Inter-University Centre for Social Statistics (QICSS)

Researchers sometimes find that the public-use microdata files made available via the Data Liberation Initiative are insufficiently detailed for their needs. The Research Data Centres (RDCs) offer secure access to detailed microdata from population and household surveys, censuses and administrative files in universities across the country. Staffed by Statistics Canada analysts, RDCs operate in accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act and are accessible only to researchers with approved projects and security clearance.

The Quebec Inter-University Centre for Social Statistics is an RDC that offers access to detailed data from large-scale surveys carried out by Statistics Canada and the Institut de la statistique du Québec. It also provides the workspace, equipment and professional as well as technical resources needed to exploit these surveys.


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