Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx)


The Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx) is produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) as part of the University of Washington. It is a catalog of vital statistics and other health-related data that is obtained from various surveys, censuses, scientific literatures, reports and more.*

*This is description is a paraphrased version of the description on the GHDx main website.

Available data file formats

The format of the data files will depend on the external source from which the data is made available. Being that there is a wide range of external sources, there is no specific file format that can be guaranteed when seeking out the data.


This is an open data source that is for public use. The GHDx has the following data availability:

  • Microdata access: Download
  • Microdata access: Register
  • Microdata access: Request
  • Tabulations only

Global Health Data Exchange

How to retrieve data by example


Suppose you are trying to find the benefits or consequences of condom usage, or lack of condom usage, in India. You are looking for a cross-sectional survey (involves many people or households at a specific point in time) for a more recent time period and have no specific preference for the format of the data file.


  • Go to the GHDx home page and click on Advanced search in the left purple box.

Screenshot of GHDx main page. In the middle of the screen there is a Search Data bar box on the left, that also contains an advanced search link, and a Countries search with a dropdown menu on the right.

  • Choose the geography or country (India), the keyword (condom), and the data type (survey).

Screenshot showing the advanced search. It shows fields of geography, data type, keywords, series or systems and time period covered (start).

  • You are then taken to a results page. Scroll down the page looking at the results until you see a survey that is somewhat recent and looks interesting to you. You decide to pick India District Level Household Survey 2012-2014. Click on the link.

Screenshot of search results. There are various links that lead to different surveys. The last link says India District Level Household Survey 2012-2014.

  • The next page is the general info page for that particular survey. Reading over the summary towards the bottom of the page, you decide this is the survey you would like to access. If the data is available, then it will indicate its accessibility in the Provider section. The data here is accessible via download. Click on this link.

Screenshot of the general information page for the India District Level Household Survey 2012-2014. Under the tab General Info, there contains information on the survey that is listed, from top to bottom, Original or alternative title, Provider, Geography, Coverage type, Time period covered and series or system. Provider, geography and series or system has the stated information as a link. Next to the provider information is a purple button that contains a link labelled Microdata access: Download.

The link will take you to the page of an external source, from which you will then download the data. This is true for all scenarios that have data availability of Microdata access: Download. Note you will no longer be on the GHDx website, so the format, layout and navigation of the site will be different than before.

After visiting the external source, you should now have access to cross-sectional survey data that includes information on condoms. Links to access and download the accompanying codebooks and/or metadata should also be available on the external source page.

Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. The GHDx provides citation information for all of their data source results, located in the tab labelled Citation next to the General Info tab on the main page of the data source. For this scenario, the citation would be:

International Institute for Population Sciences (India). India District Level Household Survey 2012-2014. New Delhi, India: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (India).