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Statistics and data sources

UK statistics

The Library has access to a range of UK statistical information, including a number of statistical surveys, official publications, and series.

Data is different from statistics. A typical dataset comprises the full range of numbers produced through studying a particular phenomena. Statistics, on the other hand, are produced using the raw data and are usually, but not always, presented in the form of a chart, graph or table.

For example, exam scores for each University of Leeds student (data) may be used to produce statistics such as average performance by Faculty, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

There are increasing amounts of data and statistics freely available online. There are some excellent online portals providing statistics on a range of topics and we have collected some of the leading resources together here.

Sources for UK statistics

UK Data Service: the largest collection of economic, social and population data in the UK. Includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data. Some statistics are open and available without registration, whilst others are safeguarded and you must register for access.

Some other useful sources for UK statistics are:

  • Annual Abstract of Statistics: statistics on economy, industry, society and demography with explanatory notes and definitions.
  • Economic and Labour Market Review: a monthly compendium of statistics and articles on the UK economy and labour market, including statistics on earnings, employment, RPI, labour disputes, redundancies etc.
  • Regional Trends: a comprehensive source of statistics about the statistical regions within England. Includes demographic, social, industrial and economic statistics covering most aspects of life.
  • Social Trends: social and economic data from a wide range of government departments and other organisations.

You can find many Office for National Statistics (ONS) publications in the official publications section on level 8 of the Edward Boyle Library. Older material (prior to 1996) is kept in "Stack Official Publications" also on Level 8 of the Edward Boyle Library.

Sources for statistical surveys

In addition to regular statistical series, a number of surveys produce reports on particular themes. These include:

  • Family Spending: a household survey providing data collected on a number of demographic and socio-economic variables from a sample of households in the UK.
  • Family Resources Survey: a wide range of information including basic household and individual characteristics (ethnic origin, employment status), household income, housing costs, other costs, ownership of vehicles/consumer durables, and information on carers and disabilities.
  • General Household Survey: annual survey covering income, housing, economic activity, family composition, fertility, education, leisure activities, drinking, smoking, and health.

Question Bank: copies of questionnaires used in a number of major British social surveys, giving background information and definitions.


Registry of Research Data Repositories

The Registry of Research Data Repositories provides information on over 2,000 research data repositories from every domain and in every country. You can browse by subject, country, or content type to find raw datasets.

The registry also holds details of our own Research Data Leeds Repository. The repository houses data generated by researchers at the University of Leeds and aims to facilitate data discovery and data sharing. A potential benefit of using datasets from this repository is that academics might be more willing to answer queries from Leeds students.

Data Mill North

Data Mill North hosts data from across the city of Leeds and is the first platform in the country that brings Open Data information from multiple sectors together.