Five data & statistics sites for social scientists

Looking for data or statistics to support your social science research? Perhaps you’re after social attitude data, human development indicators, labour force rates, crime statistics…  Some datasets and statistics can be tricky to locate on the open web and more difficult still to assess for credibility – fortunately, the Library website links to a range of reputable sites to help you in this mission.  The following are just five of them –  a full list is also available.

  • UK Data Service: Social and economic data; some provided by the UK government.    You can browse, amongst other data types, the following:
    Census data 
    International Macrodata: sourced from the IEA, IMF, OECD, World Bank…
    Longitudinal Studies: includes various cohort studies
    UK Surveys: covers themes such as carers, crime, health, housing, labour force, life opportunities, living costs, population, social attitudes…Useful advice!

    i. To access some of its data you will need to register with the service on its website.
    ii. When applying filters to the data you want, select each variable at each stage.
    iii. Alternative routes to data: you can also browse data by theme. Also try clicking get data to find rare additional content such as case studies.

  • ASEP/JDS: public opinion & other social science data from various international regions.  To change the language of the text, click on the En/Espagnol tab.  Includes links to the following subsets:  Afrobarometer, East-Asian Barometer, Globalbarometer and Latinobarometro.  In most of these subsets, click select study to retrieve data. In Latinobarometro, data is available via Data Bank, Documents & Publications tabs.
  • European Social Survey: attitudes, values & behaviours relating to Europe’s institutions. You can search by topic or country/countries.  To access data: click ESS Online Analysis – then log in/register.  Good practice: select a ‘design weight’ when analysing data and a ‘population size weight’ if comparing multiple countries. Weights take into account variable sample sizes and methodologies.
  • Office for National Statistics: UK population, social &  economic statistics, at both local and national levels.  The site links to many resources including Nomis which provides labour market statistics (income, benefits, employment rates, occupations & qualifications. You can search by specific regions or postcodes).

If you have questions about using these or any other library resources, please contact your Subject Librarian

About Peter Bradley

Subject Librarian for Health and Social & Policy Sciences. University of Bath. The Library, Level 5: P.G.Bradley@bath.ac.uk
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