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ECON 2P28: Economics of the Environment

A guide to information and data sources on environmental and natural resource economics.

Finding Data and Statistics

In the book, Just Plain Data Analysis: Finding, Presenting, and Interpreting Social Science Data, the author outlines three key tasks and skills: finding the data, presenting the data, and interpreting the data. According to Klass,"finding the best data to address a research question requires that one understands the kinds of data that are available, who collects the data, and where they can be found" (2012, p.xiii). Data interpretation, which involves assessing the reliability and validity of social science measures, requires an understanding of how data is collected and how the indicators are constructed (Klass, 2012, p. xiv).

As you review published data and statistics, be sure to look for information such as: definitions of concepts, descriptions of data sources, methodology, and data accuracy. An example is the documentation for the Households and the Environment Survey, from Statistics Canada.


Finding / Obtaining Data

Who produces or publishes data?

  • Government departments or agencies
  • Intergovernmental organizations
  • Private Sector Organizations
  • Individual researchers
  • You?

Finding Data

  • Open Data Sources (free)
  • Commercial Data Sources (subscription databases)
  • References in published articles or books
  • Specialized Portals


Key Governmental and Intergovernmental Data Sources


Key Canadian data producers may include government departments or agencies at the local (municipal / regional), provincial, and national level. Here are some suggestions:

United States (A Selective List)

International (A Selective List)