I want to compare USA counties with other countries.

I am looking for USA county level health and socio-economic indicator data that is comparable to data on other countries of the world.

Ideally the answers provided will come with URL links to the data sources.

Ideally, if you are an expert in a domain area, you can share your knowledge about making comparisons using specific variables/indicators.


1 Answer 1


I would look carefully at the data sources listed in The Spirit Level. The authors of this book (who are epidemiologists by training) analyze state and county level socio-economic data for the USA, and compare it to socio-economic data for a selection of OECD countries (23 to be precise). They provide a download link for the data (which requires a form to be filled in, but there is no charge if you email them directly.).

(as an aside, this book is a thought provoking read!)

  • 1
    Talk by Richard Wilkinson is worth having a look.
    – user173
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 10:07
  • It is! And a good summary of the book. As far as I can tell, part of the reason that their results are so radical is that the data was not easily available at a high enough spatial resolution.
    – djq
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 15:01
  • @celenius Thanks. I went to the URL. It appears the data, though interesting, is just at the state level, not at the county level, which I need.
    – b_dev
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 21:20
  • @B_Dev ah - that is a pity. I'll update my answer. They definitely use sub-county level data in some of their analysis; did you check with them to see if this available?
    – djq
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 23:40

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