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Finding Statistics


Library Services maintains a wide variety of official and non-official statistical information available online or in print. The aim of this guide is to provide an overview of the range of sources which are held.

Many different government departments and agencies collect statistics and it may be difficult to decide which one has the data you want. In addition, many government websites are aimed primarily at the general public and may not feature statistics prominently on the site. 

Statistical information is  only available if someone has collected it and made it available. In some cases access will be restricted because the data is commercially sensitive or contains personal information. Some sources are freely available, others require you to register before access is granted.  Although a lot of data is freely available online there is still much data that is not free.

What are Official and Unofficial Statistics?

Official Statistics

Official Statistics are produced by government bodies, international agencies and organisations. They contain both country specific and aggregated data for whole regions. The data is generated primarily as a result of governmental activity and to aid the issuing body in its policy-making. The Data contains a variety of economic, industrial and social indicators likely to be of use to academic research.

Unofficial Statistics

These are produced by organisations not covered under the ‘official statistics’ heading: E.g. trade/professional associations, charities, banks and building societies, companies, market research organisations. Some sources repackage official data, others will provide results of their own research. They may include detailed statistics on certain sectors and are more likely to have commentary and analysis but they do not always provide details of compilation methods / statistical expertise, so quality will vary

Key sources

The following are major providers of a broad range of statistics useful across a range of disciplines. For resources on specific topics see the menu on the left of this page.

Historical statistics

UK Government Web Archive
Preserves UK central government information published on the web dating from 1996 to present.


A few older official  publications may not have been digitized. These will be listed in Findit@Bham and will be located in The Research Reserve


Online tutorials

UK Data Service Data Skills Modules
The UK Data Service online teaching resource which introduces data to non-experts via easy-to-use interactive Data Skills Modules.  


Royal Society of Statisticians

Royal Society of Statisticians
Learned and professional society for the science and application of statistics, promoting their use for public benefit.

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