Data and Statistics

image of binary data

There are many sources of data available to the Western community. Several collections are subscribed to and are available through Western Libraries web pages and data delivery systems. Map and Data Centre staff offer mediated service for locating data. Collections that Western users have access to are highlighted on this page, as are utilities to access data. We also subscribe to the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) which is a partnership between post secondary institutions and Statistics Canada for improving access to Canadian data resources.

Data or Statistics?   |   Access Points to Data   |   Access Points to Statistics   |   Additional Information   |   Research Data Centre

Are you Looking for Data or Statistics?

This quick guide will help you understand the differences.

Access Points to Data


Through the Ontario Council of University Libraries, Western has access to this system. This data delivery platform provides access to DLI data, to Canadian Gallup Polls and to IPSOS-REID public opinion surveys, and discovery access to files from ICPSR and the Canadian Opinion Research Archive.


The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, early education, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.

Access Points to Statistics

Statistics Canada Web Data Server  

Statistics Canada's Web Data Server provides access to aggregated statistics stored in Beyond 20/20 format through a web browser, allowing Unix and Apple users to access them. Additionally, it provides access to statistics in other formats (e.g., Excel spreadsheets).

CANSIM (via StatCan) or CANSIM (via CHASS)

CANSIM is Statistics Canada's key socioeconomic database. Updated daily, CANSIM provides fast and easy access to a large range of the latest statistics available in Canada. CANSIM brings the power of information directly to you.

CHASS Census Analyser (subscribers only)

The Census Analyser provides access to Canadian Census Profiles from 1961 onwards through a common interface. Depending on the year, the files will be available at various geographic levels (down to the Census Tract).

The International Monetary Fund Electronic Library

This subscription includes four widely-used databases and access to all electronic publications of the IMF.

For other financial databases, such as the Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS), be sure to check the holdings of the C.B. "Bud" Johnston Library.


Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)

Much of the data from the CIHI is available free of charge over the internet. Additionally, graduate students may obtain additional data from CIHI free of charge through the Graduate Student Data Access Program.


Country Profiles

This resource is designed to help you find information about a specific country or region. The type of information available includes: background information on the historical, political, economic and cultural climate of a country current statistical data for each country, international news resources, information about international organizations.


Canadian Climate Data

The climate data web site is a gateway to information on matters such as past weather, climate normals, historical radar, almanac averages and extremes, and engineering climate data. Past weather data includes: temperature, snow, snow on ground, precipitation, rain, wind speed and direction, heating and cooling degree days, visibility, humidex, wind chill and relative humidity in Canada.


Additional Information

Data related print materials

The Map and Data Centre also provides access to print and/or online documentation about data sets, and to certain software manuals.

Licensing Information

Access to most data files are governed by license agreements between Western and the agency distributing the data. Typically, the licenses permit use for teaching, research, and institutional planning within Western (or the affiliate colleges). Using files to generate income is not permitted unless explicitly allowed.

Statistics Canada Research Data Centre

Western hosts an on-site Research Data Centre (RDC), located in Room 1030 of the Social Science Centre. This secure facility provides authorized researchers with access to 'master' versions of microdata files from Statistics Canada, which have not undergone the exhaustive anonymization process necessary to prepare the public use microdata files (PUMF) which are provided through Equinox and <ODESI>. If you require access to more detail on respondents than is provided through a PUMF, or a PUMF is not available for a survey from Statistics Canada, you may wish to apply for access to the data through the RDC program.

Contact the RDC Analyst (519-850-2971) or the Map and Data Centre for further information.

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