Washington and Lee University

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Research Guide

Topic: Infant mortality rates, low birth weight rates, asthma and other aggravating childhood diseases in the past three decades, in the US and other EU countries, as well as GB, China and Japan.
Course:  Poverty Studies
Date:  revised 30 June 2009



Useful for finding table tables, as well as articles, reports, etc. on topics:

international Governmental Organizations

A list of about 25 of the most important organizations, with a Google-based search engine.

Public Policy Groups

Searchable access to about 150 important think-tank and public policy sites, including the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Direct access to data tables:

The State of the World's Children

Annual compilation.

World Health Organization Statistical Information System (WHOSIS)

Create data tables.

See also the annual publications World Health Statistics and World Health Report .


Added 5/9/09:

OECD Health Data

Excel file available here contains extensive time-series data.  You may be able to find additional information by browsing the Health Policies area.

Health Care Reform: An Introduction

2009 U.S. Congressional Research Service report is not really "global" in scope, but contains useful references for data.


Fairly new Department of Health and Human Services site mostly useful for news on health issues in various regions around the world.

U.S. Census Bureau

The International Data Base includes extensive data on infant mortality and related issues.  (See the Tables option.)

Population Health Information Project

Affiliated from the U.S. Agency for International Development, contains links to publications and databases (“Portfolio”).   Also, take a look at USAID's Health collection.

UN Data

You can search through a number of UN databases for such terms as infant mortality.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control
U.S. National Center for Health Statistics
U.S. National Institutes of Health

None of these U.S. Federal Government agencies seems to provide much international/global data, but each provides lots of information on domestic health issues and data.   Each has an A-Z browsing option and a site search option.


Data on asthma added 6/24/09

Summary Health Statistics for the U.S. Children

Statistical report (2008) from the U.S. CDC.   (See Page 5 and Table 1)

Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality

From the American Lung Association (2009).    You may need to register(free) to see this report.

Global Burden of Asthma

2004 report from the Global Initiative for Asthma is pretty comprehensive, with lots of references to original sources.


Newly-discovered statistical resources, 6/30/09


UNICEF data on women and children.

The only place I have found regularly-reported data on asthma year-by-year that also includes socioeconomic data is the CDC’s annual National Health Interview Survey, which usually includes a “Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children” report (but not always?).

You can get to this data via the CDC site:  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/nhis_questionnaires.htm    (See the “Data” options)

 Another way to do it would be to use the LexisNexis Statistical database, to which W&L subscribes:

  • Select “Find A Publication”

  • Enter “summary health statistics for u.s. children” (including the quotation marks) in the first search line.

  • Change that line’s drop-down label from “All Fields” to “Title.”

  • Click on the “Search” button near the bottom of the page.

Data probably will not be available for every year.