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Statistics and data resources

Guidance on finding and using statistics and data in your research.


Finding statistics and/or data to support your research can take time and it is a good idea to be flexible in what you are looking for. You may find that the best information available turns out to be a poor fit with the questions you need answered.

Here are some points to consider before you look for numbers to support your case:

  • geography – specific province or city? cities of a given size? a single postal code?
  • population: age, sex, ethnicity?
  • domain: the subject of your research
  • currency: How old is too old? (It takes a long time for agencies to compile and publish numbers.)

Any statistic you find had to be tracked, collected and published. This costs money. The more financial value information has, the more likely it is to be tracked. So another important point to consider is who would keep track of the numbers you want? If the federal, provincial or municipal government would, then there are tools in this guide to help you find what statistics or data exist. If the private sector would, then that information may be proprietary and more difficult to find.

Remember that if you are having trouble finding what you need, we are happy to help. Email the librarians at:

Using data to debunk common misconceptions of the developing world


This guide will always be a work in progress. We welcome any feedback you have on how it could be improved. If you know of another useful website or if you have ideas for how it could be otherwise improved, please let us know.