Skip to main content


Statistics & Data: Get Started

About This Guide

This guide provides Canadian, U.S., and international sources for statistics and data.

General, comprehensive sources can be found by geography (e.g., General Sources - Canada and General Sources - U.S. and International).

More specific sources can be found under Sources by Subject... .

Not finding what you need? Please contact us.

Key Links


The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) makes available specific datasets and files, including public use microdata files (PUMFs), to subscribing Canadian post-secondary institutions. The annual subscription fee allows faculty, students, and staff at these institutions unlimited access to these files for research and academic purposes. (DLI Licence

Access these files directly via ODESI.

Read more about the DLI.

Happy Birthday, Statistics Canada!

"Statistics Canada hit 100 this year. This month's issue of the StatCan Blog takes a look back at the agency's early days, and casts an eye to the future to examine the road ahead.

Born as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Canada has undergone massive changes since 1918. Back then, Tunney's Pasture—the spot StatCan now calls home—was an actual pasture, with cattle grazing not far from the banks of the Ottawa River.

Today, Tunney's is home to a high-tech hub of data, keeping Canadians up to date on almost every aspect of life in this country."

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Read more about Statistics Canada's first 100 years!

Visit the 100 Years and Counting website

Data vs Statistics vs Information

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually very different, as shown in the following table.

Table: Movie Rentals per Month by University Students

2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 3, etc. average number of rentals: 2.5 20 university students rent fewer than 5 movies per month
10, 15, 12, 14, 18, etc. average number of rentals: 14 20 university students rent more than 10 movies per month


Statistics are generally presentation-ready; Data will need to be manipulated in order for it to be meaningful.

What are Statistics?

According to Statistics Canada, statistics refers to "a type of information obtained through mathematical operations on numerical data" (Statistics: Power from Data!).

Examples of statistics include:

  • the median income of people in a city
  • the average number of children per family in a neighbourhood
  • the average temperature over the past week

What are Data?

Yes, "data" is plural! (singular form: datum)

According to Statistics Canada, data are "the raw material from which information is obtained" or the "facts or figures from which conclusions can be drawn" (Statistics: Power from Data!)

Examples of data include

  • the individual income levels of every person in a city
  • the actual number of children per family for each family in the neighbourhood
  • the temperature, taken at hourly intervals, during a one-week period

Telling Canada's Story in Numbers (Statistics Canada)

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Statistics Canada will be telling Canada's story in numbers and hosting a variety of activities, including:

  • A speaker series
  • A blog that shares the views of historians, genealogists, academics and students on how statistics tell Canada's story
  • Numerous online activities to provide a historical perspective of Canada and demonstrate the depth and wealth of Statistics Canada's information.

For the full story and more information, see the Telling Canada's story in numbers webpage.

Census 2016 - 5th Release: Income (September 13, 2017)

"Today, Statistics Canada is releasing data from the 2016 Census on the incomes of Canadians. This release presents incomes of Canadians as measured in 2015, and looks at trends over the 2005-to-2015 period, a decade of significant income growth and economic change."

See the full Statistics Canada release.

Go to the Statistics Canada Census 2016 Program module

Chat with an expert on September 15, 2017

Census 2016 Results: Age and Sex, Type of Dwelling Data (May 3, 2017)

Statistics Canada's second release of data from the 2016 Census focuses on on age and sex, and type of dwelling, and reveals that "From 2011 to 2016, Canada registered the largest increase in the proportion of seniors since Confederation. This acceleration of population aging is the result of the first baby boomers reaching the age of 65."

See the complete article

2016 Census Results: Population & Dwellings (Feb. 8, 2017)

"Today, Statistics Canada provides Canadians with a first glimpse of the latest national statistical portrait with results of the 2016 Census count on population and dwellings.

The count tallies 35,151,728 people who reported living in Canada on Census Day, May 10, 2016, and shows the patterns of population growth across the country."

See the complete article

Canada at a Glance (Statistics Canada, March 2017)

"Canada at a Glance presents current statistics on Canadian demography, education, health and aging, justice, housing, income, labour market, households, economy, travel, finance, agriculture, foreign trade and the environment."