Every great data visualization starts with good, clean data. If you don’t already have data you want to work with, where should you start? The reality is that there are thousands of free datasets available, ready to be analyzed and visualized. You just need to know where to look.
We’ve collected a list of publicly available websites that provide data on government, global issues, scholarly articles, social media, marketing, science, journalism, media and so much more. We hope you enjoy browsing through these free data sources:
U.S. Census Bureau – The Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the people and economy of the US, including population data, geographic data, and education.
Uniform Crime Reporting – The UCR Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students, researchers, members of the media, and the public seeking information on crime in the US.
U.S. Geological Survey Data Catalog– The USGS Data Catalog provides access to USGS research and monitoring from across the nation. Find scientific data on topics from coastal and marine data to volcanoes, earthquakes, and water systems.
European Union Open Data Portal – The European Union Open Data Portal is the single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.
Eurostat – Here you will find the key to European statistics. Feel free to search by theme, learning about the European economy, population, industry, trade, technology, and transport.
UK Data Service – The UK Data Service includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data.
Data.gov – Data.gov is home to the US government’s open data. Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, and design data visualizations.
Data.gov.uk – Data.gov.uk is home to the UK government’s open data. Find data published by government departments and agencies, public bodies and local authorities.
Data.gov.au– Data.gov.au is home to the Australian government’s open data. The site encourages the public to use government data to analyze, mashup and develop tools and applications.
The World Factbook – The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
International Monetary Fund – IMF Data offers access to macroeconomic and financial data. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership.
UNICEF Data and Reports – UNICEF gathers evidence on the situation of women and children globally. The data sets include accurate, nationally representative data from household surveys and other sources.
World Health Organization – The Global Health Observatory provides data and analysis on global health priorities, including world hunger and disease.
Gapminder – Gapminder produces free teaching resources making the world understandable based on reliable statistics. Gapminder promotes a fact-based worldview everyone can understand.
Google Public Data – Launched in March 2010, the Google Public Data Explorer makes large, public-interest data sets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.
UNESCO – UIS.Stat contains all the latest available data and indicators, for education, literacy, science, technology, innovation, culture, communication and information.
World Bank Open Data – The World Bank’s data catalog is a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports, and other resources.
World Bank Education Stats – Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality. The World Bank compiles data on education inputs, participation, efficiency, and outcomes.
UNICEF Education Stats – UNICEF provides administrative data on school participation, including net and gross enrolment ratios and survival ratios, by educational level.
Open Data for Africa – Here you can visualize Socio-Economic indicators over a period of time, gain access to presentation-ready graphics and perform comprehensive analysis on a Country and Regional level.
FiveThirtyEight's Data Sets– This is the data and code behind FiveThirtyEight's articles and graphics. Use this data to create your own stories and visualizations.
Datasets Subreddit – This popular subreddit offers datasets for data mining, analytics, and knowledge discovery.
Million Song Dataset – The Million Songs Collection is a collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks.
IMDB – This page describes various alternate ways to access IMDb locally by holding copies of the data directly on your system.
UC Irvine Machine Learning Repository – The UCI Machine Learning Repository is a collection of databases, domain theories, and data generators that are used by the machine learning community for use in analyzing machine learning algorithms. There are more than 500 data sets available on a wide variety of topics.
Amazon Web Services – Browse Amazon Web Services’ Public Data Sets by category for a huge wealth of information.
Google Books Ngram Viewer – The Google Books Ngram Viewer is optimized for quick inquiries into the usage of small sets of phrases.