Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Here are a few quick links to commonly-used sources of data & statistics:
Welcome to the Geoffrey R. Weller guide to finding data and statistics, with a focus on Canadian information.
Quick search: Use the following search box to quickly search for data and statistics across Canadian and American sources using the <odesi> search. This collection includes Statistics Canada, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, and popular opinion polls
Data vs. Statistics
What are statistics?
Statistics are aggregated data, that is data that have already been analyzed and processed into percentages, averages, totals, etc. (often arranged in tables) and can be used immediately in your papers and presentations. Examples of statistics include average income for a specific city, percentage of the population who speak French, etc.
What are data?
Data are information or characteristics collected through observation. Given this broad definition there are many different types of data including:
- aggregated data or statistics (defined above)
- microdata: or raw data that have yet to be interpreted and analyzed. Examples of microdata are individual survey responses or observations. Microdata collected about people need to be anonymized before it can be published for public use so specific individuals cannot be identified.
- geospatial data: data that include geographic positioning information relative to a coordinate system. Geospatial data usually need to be interpreted using GIS software.
- time series data: observations of the same variable made over time, such as climate data
- textual data: comprise of speech and text databases, lexicons, text corpora, and other metadata-added textual resources used for language and linguistic research.