Skip to Main Content

Global Health: Statistics

This guide suggests resources for finding information concerning key health problems, cultural traditions affecting health care and the organization of health services in various countries.


There is an abundance of statistical information available from NGO's and other respected organizations on the Internet. A few suggested sources below will get you started. Also consider searching for the official statistical agencies for your country using Google.

  • World Health Organization
    WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
  • Human Development Reports
    The UN Human Development office publishes global, regional and national human development reports. This webpage provides access to these reports from the most recent back to the mid 1990's. Human Development Report's primary purpose is to assess the state of human development across the globe and provide a critical analysis of a specific theme each year. It combines thematic policy analysis with detailed country data that focus on human well-being, not just economic trends. HDRs are issued annual for the world, however go to the Library tab to explore national level reports available.
  • World Development Report
    "The World Bank's annual World Development Report (WDR) is an invaluable guide to the economic, social and environmental state of the world today. Each year the WDR provides in depth analysis of a specific aspect of development. Past reports have considered such topics as the role of the state, transition economies, labor, infrastructure, health, the environment, and poverty. " 1979- 2008 in print at 330.91724 W9271 FM-3-North. Recent editions on the Web with some exceptions.
  • World Bank: Health Topic Page
    The World Bank is a resource for many types of data on countries and regions of the world. This page focuses on Health. Also look at the tabs for Data and Country.
  • International Data Base (IDB) -- maintained by the Bureau of the Census, this database provides demographic data for selected indicators, countries and user-selected regions, and years, population statistics, and summary data, population pyramids and access to more data for a single country.
  • NationMaster -- designed by a web publishing company in Australia, this site gathers statistics from a variety of sources, mostly international agencies, and presents them in an easy-to-use and interesting graphical formats. Links to ads are present but are generally unobtrusive.