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What is Data?

Data are the raw numbers from which statistics are generated.  Data files require software programs like SPSS or Minitab in order to read and analyze the data. 

An example of a data file is a survey on household spending that records the individual response from households covered in a survey sample.  Statistical software would then collate the data into a meaningful statistic, such as a table comparing annual expenditure on satellite and cablevision services among households in Canada, provinces and territories.

The Canadian Data and International Data pages point mainly to data files within these categories as well as to guides in using them.

Related Topics


The library maintains separate pages linking to statistics - i.e. data that is already aggregated - for Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations and its affiliated agencies, the European Union, and other countries.  Click on the "Statistics" link within these pages.

Spatial/Geographical Data

For spatial data, inquire at the Map Room on the main floor of the QEII Library.

Polling data

Several sources of public opinion polls.

Helpful Books from the Catalogue