Global Health Data Exchange - Discover the World's Health Data

About Data Types

"Data type" is what we use to categorize data based on the kind of information that it covers and the way the data are collected.

Administrative record

Data from the records maintained by agencies, institutions, commercial entities and governments, where the records are used for administrative purposes or for providing services.


Data from a complete count of a specified population or entity; may include information about behavior, opinions or characteristics based on responses to questions.

Demographic surveillance

Data from a system to monitor vital events and migration in a specific population over time (generally subnational). Differs from vital registration in that it may include other data points or data collection methods such as surveys.

Disease registry

Data from a centralized source that gathers information on patients with a specific diagnosis, condition or procedure – a specific type of administrative record.

Environmental monitoring

Data from measurement systems that capture information about the climate and the environment.

Epi surveillance

Data from labs, doctors, or other health workers on confirmed or suspected notifiable diseases – a specific type of administrative record.


Standalone estimates that may be the underlying datasets from a publication or that may have been created for their own sake. Includes IHME results. Unlike reports, estimates contain little or no narrative.

Financial record

Data from the formal records of the financial activities of an entity (or person).

Modeled data

Raw input data that have been transformed by IHME modelers through various preparation processes, such as age- and sex-splitting.

Other publication

Brief publications, such as news articles or web pages, containing health-related data. While these items, like reports and scientific literature, also include narrative, the data may not be central to or the focus of the story.


Publications that include estimates based on multiple sources that may include assumptions about sampling and about the relationships between variables, e.g., statistical yearbooks and bulletins. Reports also contain, unlike standalone estimates, at least some narrative explaining the data – the source of the data or what they mean or both. Reports may be published serially, but are not generally peer-reviewed.

Scientific literature

Articles and papers containing health-related data that are published in peer-reviewed journals (print, CD, or online).


Data about behavior, opinions or characteristics based on responses to questions from a sample of a specified population or entity.

Vital registration

Data from systems that register vital events in a population – a specific type of administrative record.