200 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns
Behind every great data-led digital PR campaign is a set of impenetrable stats. But where do we find the FREE public data sources that bring our award-winning campaigns to life?
Data… it can be a dirty word — primarily because many people believe that collecting big data is really tricky. However, the JBH team has found the opposite to be true! In fact, there are actually hundreds of FREE public datasets online — ready and waiting for you to uncover the stories behind the spreadsheets.
In 2019, I wrote a blog post detailing 100 free public data sources which — as of today — has had more than 5,000 page views. For 2022, I’ve doubled my list in size, adding a further 100 data sources — or should I say, 100 additional secret weapons — to your digital PR arsenal.
Whether you’re looking to hone in on the latest crime stats, or for something with a bit more of an edge — this updated list is a guaranteed way to tickle your (statistical) pickle. My aim is to make this resource the best place to find free data sources for digital PR campaigns — so you best believe I’ve left no stone unturned throughout my search.
Enjoy! And be sure to let me know if you use any of them — I’d love to see what you do with them!
The No. 1 business data platform in the world — with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries.
Specialised databases, popular statistical tables, and country profiles.
The world’s free encyclopedia — if you’re worried about accuracy, only use data that comes with a reference or external link for further reading.
DBpedia gathers structured content from valuable information over at Wikipedia.
5. Amazon Public Datasets
A registry featuring datasets that are available from the Amazon Web Services resources.
6. Google Public Data Explorer
Public-interest datasets that supplement information with helpful graphs and tables.
7. Google Dataset Search
A search engine from Google that allows you to locate online data for research.
8. Pew Research
“A foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.”
9. Datasets Subreddit
A great place to share, find, and discuss datasets — but be warned, unearthing your niche could prove tricky.
10. Enigma Public
“The world’s broadest collection of public data to empower people to improve the world around them.”
The home of the US government’s open data — covering everything from agriculture and finance, to manufacturing and public safety.
The home of the UK government’s open data — featuring an equally extensive range of useful information as its US counterpart.
Singapore’s open data portal — with datasets available from 70 public agencies.
An overview of UK public opinion regarding politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle, and more.
WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the government and public sector.
17. UK Data Service
A collection of UK government sponsored surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, business data, and more.
18. European Union Open Data Portal
The single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.
19. US Census Bureau
Government-informed statistics about the lives of US citizens — including population, economy, education, geography, and more.
A mission-driven software company that enables you to explore government-related data via built-in visualisation tools.
21. Canada Open Data
A pilot project designed to generate greater transparency and accountability within government and geospatial datasets.
Open government data from the US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more.
23. US Bureau of Labor Statistics
A highly topical source in the wake of The Great Resignation, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has tons of data on US occupations, industries, business costs, and more.
24. The US Environmental Protection Agency
If you’ve seen The Simpsons Movie, you may be familiar with this one already. The EPA’s data collections cover everything from bedbugs and brownfields, to climate change and environmental justice.
A European fact tank that fights misconceptions about global development — using a wide range of data sources.
27. UNDP’s Human Development Index
A ranking of country progress under the lens of human development.
28. OECD Aid Database
A visualisation of data showing aid collected from governments.
29. Qlik Data Market
A free package providing access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators, and weather.
30. National Weather Service
A US federal government agency that provides weather forecasts, hazardous weather warnings, and other weather-related news to organisations and the public.
31. World Bank Open Data
Features 3,000 datasets and 14,000 indicators encompassing microdata, time series statistics, and geospatial data.
32. IMF Economic Data
Includes global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates, directions of trade, and more.
33. UN Comtrade Database
A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.
34. Google Finance
Real-time stock market information, financial news, currency conversions, and tracked portfolios.
35. Global Financial Data
A source analysing the ins and outs of the global economy — with data on over 60,000 companies, covering 300 years.
36. US Bureau of Economic Analysis
Mainly reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States — but also valuable information about income, corporate profits, and government spending.
37. National Bureau of Economic Research
Data concerning industry, productivity, trade, international finance, industry, and more.
38. Financial Times
More than just a news site, the Financial Times also publishes a broad range of business data and information.
The largest open database of companies in the world.
40. The Atlas of Economic Complexity
A research and data visualisation tool used to explore global trade dynamics.
41. World Bank Doing Business Database
A resource that evaluates business environment indicators — such as capabilities and costs — around the world.
42. Visualizing Economics
A self-explanatory site featuring data visualisations about the economy.
43. Buzz Data
A resource that provides UK businesses with targeted business address data.
44. Federal Reserve Economic Database
A database that allows you to download and track 567,000 US and international time series from 87 sources.
45. Financial Data Finder at OSU
A large catalogue of financial datasets.
46. EU Startups
A directory listing the number of start-up businesses in the EU — alongside their industry and sector. Perfect if your campaign is targeting new businesses’ publications in and around Europe.
47. International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund data is made up of a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates, and other economic and financial indicators. Here, you can also find various materials on statistical practices in member countries.
48. US Securities & Exchange Commission
The SEC’s open data program provides data on US businesses and capital.
The self-titled ‘leader in private data’, Crunchbase gives you access to information about private and public companies — including investments and funding information, founding members and individuals in leadership positions, mergers and acquisitions, news, and industry trends.
50. Sifted Rich List
Powered by The Financial Times, Sifted allows you to delve into in-depth intelligence reports on wealthtech, embedded finance, fintech, tech innovation, scaleups, the future of work, food delivery, and so much more.
51. Bloomberg Billionaires Index
Business and markets news source, Bloomberg, displays profiles of the world’s 500 richest people — with its ranking updated as regularly as the close of each financial trading day (in New York).
Head to Forbes for data on the businesses, entrepreneurship, wealth, investments, and leadership that shape our world.
53. World Trade Organization
The WTO provides quantitative information on economic and trade policy issues — including trade flows, tariffs, non-tariff measures, and trade in value added.
54. UN Comtrade Database
A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.
55. Land Matrix
An independent land monitoring operation that captures and shares details regarding land transactions — supported by a range of visual tools.
Data insights, survey findings, and regular reports about digital marketing can be found on the Buffer blog.
Along with how-to articles and whiteboard walkthroughs, the Moz blog also publishes data-driven insight pieces.
A large repository of marketing statistics and trends – along with tools for social media, SEO, and web analytics.
59. Content Marketing Institute
A vast selection of articles, resources, and research all about the world of content marketing.
60. Facebook API
Using the graph API, you can retrieve all sorts of data from Facebook.
61. Twitter API
Stay up to date with worldwide conversations by connecting your website or application to the Twitter platform.
62. Instagram API
You can use Instagram API to build non-automated, high-quality apps and services.
63. Complete Public Reddit Comments Corpus
Here, you’ll find over one billion public comments posted on Reddit between 2007 and 2015 for training language algorithms.
64. Social Buzz
Want to contribute to the modern conversation? Social Buzz is a real-time social media search service — enabling you to quickly and easily pull all recent mentions from the major Social Networks and Web into a single dashboard.
65. Social Mention
Similar to the abovementioned Social Buzz, Social Mention is a real-time social media search and analysis platform.
66. Pinterest Trends
They say the Pinterest board is the window to the soul (in 2022, anyway) — and with Pinterest Trends, you can explore surging trends on one of the world’s most popular image sharing and social media platforms. Even better, stay one step ahead with Pinterest Predicts.
67. Social Blade
Social Blade describe their work as “analytics made easy”. Music to your ears? You’ll love this simplified platform for social media stats.
68. Hype Auditor
For key statistics for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and influencer marketing, use Hype Auditor.
You’d be surprised at just how much data you can mine from TikTok — and once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Apologies in advance!
Open data about crime and policing in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
72. FBI Crime Statistics
Statistical reports and publications detailing specific offences and outlining crime trends.
73. United Nations on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations on Drugs and Crime works to make the world safer from drugs, organised crime, corruption, and terrorism – collating research, trend analysis, and forensics in an annual report.
74. National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)
A US national record to facilitate research in criminal justice and criminology — using computerised data, new research based on archived data, and through specialised training workshops covering quantitative analysis of crime and justice data.
75. Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics
“The Uniform Crime Reporting Program compiles official data on crime in the United States — published by the FBI.”
76. Bureau of Justice Statistics
“The United States’ principal federal agency responsible for measuring crime, criminal victimisation, criminal offenders, victims of crime, correlates of crime, and the operation of criminal and civil justice systems at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels.”
78. UNICEF Dataset
UNICEF has compiled relevant data about education, child labour, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, antenatal care, and much more.
79. NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre
The NHS produces more than 260 official and national statistical publications every year — which includes national comparative data for secondary uses.
A platform containing 125 years of US healthcare data — including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology, and population statistics.
82. US Food & Drug Administration
A compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database — which is updated weekly.
A resource for health statistics such as the rate at which people are catching the flu, and the average cost of a medical procedure.
84. America’s Health Rankings
An analysis of US national health on a state-by-state basis, using historical data.
85. The Broad Institute — Cancer Program Data
Access the cancer-related datasets of the Broad Institute’s scientists.
86. Human Rights Data Analysis Group
The non-profit, nonpartisan group applying rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world.
87. Harvard Law School
This Ivy League school provides information on everything from international relations, to human rights data — courtesy of political institution databases.
88. The Armed Conflict Database by Uppsala University
Data that dives into minor and major violent conflicts around the world.
89. Amnesty International
Human rights information — run independently of any political ideology, economic interest, or religion.
90. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
PCFSN is a US federal advisory committee dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle for American citizens.
91. America’s Health Rankings
Built on 31 years of data, America’s Health Rankings provides an analysis of national health in the US on a state-by-state basis.
Primarily a news and opinion website — however, its content is supported by in-depth data and statistical models.
93. Google Scholar
Another Alphabet-owned resource but with a more academic slant — consisting of articles, theses, books, whitepapers, etc.
94. The Upshot
A section of The New York Times that examines politics, policy, and everyday life — primarily using data.
95. The New York Times Developer Network
A platform through which you can search articles, retrieve headlines, and discover media dating back to 1851.
96. Associated Press API
Here, you can search and download content using your own tools — without having to visit AP portals.
97. Million Song Dataset
A collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million music tracks.
99. BFI Film Forever
Research data and market intelligence about the UK film industry and culture.
Key statistical highlights of the global recording industry.
101. Academic Rights Press
The world’s leading aggregator of global music industry data.
103. OpenLibrary Data Dumps
Datasets on books — including catalogues from libraries around the world.
104. One Million Audio Cover Images
Dataset hosted at archive.org — covering music released around the world, for use in image processing research.
Another one for pop culture pundits, Metacritic aggregates music, game, TV, and movie reviews from leading critics — with ‘Metascores’ indicating your must-listens, must-plays, and must-sees.
106. Box Office Mojo
Powered by IMDb Pro, Box Office Mojo is the No. 1 online destination for box office news and analysis — tracking revenue in a systematic, algorithmic way.
Want to know how long your favourite game takes to complete? Look it up, and see how you compare to the average.
This is where things get really nerdy — Valve’s leading video game distribution service shares Steam and game stats to improve their service… and your campaigns!
Every year, Spotify Wrapped has the world in a chokehold. Whether your playlists earned you the hipster-approval rating, or you listened to Red (Taylor’s Version) a few too many times last year, Spotify always knows.
The latest statistics, research, and data about the travel industry.
111. Search the World
Population, weather, and travel information for millions of locations worldwide.
113. US Travel Association
This resource covers a wide variety of travel-related topics — primarily relating to the economy.
A wealth of free information about various destinations to support your travel or lifestyle campaign.
115. Transport for London (TfL)
TfL grants public access to all open data on their website — encouraging users to present customer travel information in new and exciting ways (providing all transport data terms and conditions are adhered to).117. Global Petrol Prices
116. Public Electric Vehicle Charge Points
Want to see which cities have the most electric vehicle charge points? Look no further than ZapMap, which has the most up-to-date stats.
117. Transport, Energy, and Environment
Details the impact of transport on energy consumption and the environment — including electric vehicle charging, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.
119. Air BnB
It’s one of the first places you visit to book the perfect getaway — but did you know it’s also one of the best places for tourism data, too? Look at it through this new lens and see what wonders come away with.
120. Campsites in the UK
2021 was the year of the staycation — with many people booking UK holidays as an alternative to far-flung trips across the globe — for obvious reasons. Use Campsites.co.uk to discover locations with the most campsites, the average nightly cost, and even how dog-friendly they are.
121. Labelled Faces in the Wild
13,000 collated and labelled images of human faces — for use in developing applications involving facial recognition.
122. Microsoft Macro
Microsoft’s open machine learning datasets for training systems in reading comprehension and question answering.
123. UCI Machine Learning Dataset Repository
A collection of open datasets contributed by data scientists involved in machine learning projects.
124. CERN Open Data
More than one petabyte of data from particle physics experiments carried out by CERN.
125. Natural History Museum Data Portal
Information on nearly four million historical specimens in the London museum’s collection — as well as scientific sound recordings of the natural world.
126. Microsoft Azure Data Markets Free Datasets
Freely available datasets — covering everything from agriculture to weather.
All of the latest news, images, and videos from America’s space agency — all in one place.
128. NASA Exoplanet Archive
Public datasets covering planets and stars — gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.
129. Earth Data from NASA
The eagle has landed… on a brilliant open dataset for your campaigns. Take a look around and see what’s available.
Pollution and air quality data from across London.
131. National Center for Environment Information
Quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various resources.
132. National Climatic Data Center
A huge collection of environmental, meteorological, and climate data sets from the US National Climatic Data Center.
133. Yelp Open Datasets
There are 5,996,996 reviews, 188,593 businesses, 280,991 pictures and 10 metropolitan areas included in Yelp Open Datasets.
A directory covering business software and reviews.
An in-depth data source for job market and career opportunities.
A vast directory where you can research companies, compare salaries and read employee reviews.
137. eBay Market Data Insights
Data on millions of online sales and auctions from eBay.
A data scraping service that also includes data feeds.
139. Dangerous Animals Map of the UK
Have you ever wondered where the most dangerous animals live in the UK? From snakes in Surrey, to Camels in Cannock — you can find them all in this dataset by Born Free.
140. The California Forest Observatory
This is a data-driven forest monitoring system which maps wildfire hazards across the state of California.
This website tracks various metrics for the world’s biggest companies — such as Amazon, Kroeger, and Alibaba. Create an account and set the companies you want to follow to see how quickly they’re growing their social media following, engagement, employee reviews, and much more.
143. Environmental Information Data Centre
Search the EIDC for data on climate change, biodiversity, and even invasive species — that’s got ‘campaign’ written all over it!
144. European Food Information Council (EFIC)
Can you get Strawberries in Sweden in December? There’s a dataset for that… on the EUFIC! Their goal is to make the science behind food and health more accessible and easier to understand.
145. Family Capital Ranking of Family Businesses
Filter, download, and explore the most successful family businesses around the world.
146. The Green Space Index
The Green Space Index explores the publicly accessible park and green space provision across the UK.
147. Buzzfeed’s Github Repository
Open-source data, analysis, libraries, tools, and guides from BuzzFeed’s newsroom — the data behind the cycling gender gap story is really interesting, and there’s tons more where that came from.
148. The GDELT Project
The GDELT Project monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country, and compiles that data into mineable formats.
149. Google Ngram Viewer
Use Google’s Ngram viewer to see how many times a word has been featured in print. The tool uses the back catalogue from Google Books to reveal the trends behind some of the most — and least — words used in print.
150. The Infidelity Index
A fun dataset which allows you to search and see how many people are potentially having an affair in your postcode area, using data from Illicit Encounters.
151. Kaggle’s Climate Data
The tool allows you to explore temperatures from around the world — dating back as far as 1750.
152. Kaggle’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Data
Dating back to 1990, this dataset records the greenhouse gas emissions per country from the United Nations. Note: this dataset was last updated in 2017.
153. Map of Life
The Map of Life explores biodiversity — mapping species and conservation efforts all across the globe.
Covering the UK, US, and AUS, Measuring Worth strives to provide “the highest quality and most reliable historical data on important economic aggregates — with particular emphasis on current-price measures, as well as constant-price measures.”
155. Met Office DataPoint
Provides access to Met Office data feeds in an application developer-friendly format — including radar and cloud cover for the UK; temperature, wind speed, and direction; and regularly updated text forecasts for mountain weather, national parks, and UK regions.
156. NYC Open Data
A catalogue of public data distributed by New York City agencies and other partners — you can narrow datasets by agency, category, new datasets, and popular datasets.
Find government reports for UK childminders and care providers, schools, colleges and further education providers, children and families services, and residential holiday schemes for disabled children.
159. Tech Nation: Jobs and Skills Report 2021
Another amazing resource from Tech Nation, the annual Jobs and Skills Report explores tech jobs and transformation throughout the UK — supported by Adzuna and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.
160. Tech Nation: Scale Ratio 2021
Once again, Tech Nation is doing the most — if you’re looking for technology data, anyway. This report examines the various growth stages of scaling tech companies — from seed to late stage — across UK cities and sectors.
Whether you’re looking for the backbone of your creative campaign — or somewhere to start over, Teleport compares cities on quality of life, cost of living, salaries, and more.
Explore research developed by The University of California, Los Angeles — narrowed down by discipline.
A wealth of information on countries of the United Nations’ Education and Literacy; Science, Technology, and Innovation, Culture, and Communication and Information — with the option to narrow down by country, of course.
164. The Yellow Pages
Millennials will remember this one as a physical big fat yellow book they tripped over as a child. Luckily, it’s all digital now — find people, local businesses, restaurants, dentists, and legal professionals throughout the US in just a few clicks.
165. Zoopla UK Property Value
British real estate company, Zoopla provides property value data graphs for the UK — including the average values in the UK, current asking prices, current asking rents, and more. There’s even a ‘fun facts’ section to give your campaign a jumpstart.
166. Open Street Map
Open Street Map describes themselves as “a map of the world — created by people like you, and free to use under an open licence”. Happy mapping!
ecommerceDB provides detailed information for over 20,000 stories in 50 countries — including detailed revenue analytics, competitor analysis, market development, marketing budget, and interesting KPIs like traffic, shipping providers, payment options, social media activity, and many more.
169. Data is Plural
Described by users as “a treasure trove of interesting datasets”, “consistently fascinating”, “the best pointers to interesting public data”, this newsletter isn’t one to miss! Get it in your inbox today.
170. Business of Apps
For app industry news, analysis, insights, data, and statistics, turn to Business of Apps — and if you want to dive deeper, you can listen to their podcast, too.
171. Google Trends
What if you could tap into what the world was searching? Well, with Google Trends, you can. A truly innovative tool — made even better by its ‘Year in Search’ report, Google Trends gets you involved in the global conversation.
172. Influencer Marketing Hub
Say hello to the leading social media resource for brands — Influencer Marketing Hub. Analyse influencer marketing, ecommerce, creator economy, social media, and email marketing — all in one place.
173. App Annie
For all the latest app statistics and insights driving the ever-evolving growth of mobile technology, App Annie’s your gal!
Consult The Office of Communications for government-approved data regarding the broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal industries of the United Kingdom.
Indeed offers a worldwide database for jobs, company reviews, salary searches and more.
178. Open Data Network
In their own words, the Open Data Network “greatly expands access to the world’s information, and lights the way to the civic, business, social, and scientific discoveries that will shape the future.
Formerly ‘Wordometers’, Wordometer providers counters and real-time statistics for a complete range of different topics.
180. Ordnance Survey
The Ordnance Survey data hub gives you access to a comprehensive and up-to-date set of authoritative data — with over 20,000 updates to their databases every day.
182. London Fire Brigade
Did you know that the London Fire Brigade is one of the largest firefighting and rescue organisations in the world? You can find information on their policies, budget, accounts, organisational structure charts, and performance on their website — plus Fire Facts.
183. Happy Planet Index
Just how happy is the planet? The Happy Planet Index will tell you — helping you learn about the world and lead a more sustainable life.
Rightmove is the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website — where you can search both commercial and domestic properties for sale and rent, property prices, and much more.
185. International Telecommunications Union
A specialised agency of the United Nations, the ITU collates statistics concerning all matters related to information and communication technologies.
Where there’s a chart, there’s a campaign — and you’ll find thousands at Chartr. Discover how Apple makes its money, the economics of coffee, pandemic winners and losers, and tons more — all in colourful formats.
187. National Institute on Drug Abuse
A US federal-government research body, the National Institute on Drug Abuse collates trends and statistics regarding various drug-related issues — such as drug use, emergency room data, prevention and treatment programs, and more.
188. Crypto Data Downloads
Here we have all your cryptocurrency data — and it’s historical, too. Better yet, there’s no registration required!
GitHub describes itself as “where the world builds software” — but it’s more than that, it’s where you build campaign ideas. Access information from over 73 million developers, 4 million organisations, and 200 million repositories.
Looking for a ranking of the world’s air quality? It exists. IQAir looks at exactly that, plus pollution city rankings.
191. IAE Atlas of Energy
A collection of energy profiles for countries around the world — allowing you to look at the evolution of a single indicator for one nation, or to make comparisons between several.
192. Open Secrets
From presidential campaigns… to your digital PR campaign — Open Secrets is a database following the money in US politics, tracking campaign finance and lobbying.
Sell your cat, car, or caravan — and find tons of advertisements for properties, jobs, and more on the UK’s first site for free classified ads.
194. Drug Policy Facts
Formerly known as ‘Drug War Facts’, Drug Policy Facts is brought to you by Real Reporting Foundation — a US organisation committed to improving harm reduction and informing the debate over public policy regarding public health, healthcare, justice, and human and civil rights.
A data science resource that indicates where published research is mentioned online, with ‘altmetric’ tools.
196. Group Lens Research
Led by the University of Minnesota, GroupLens is a human-computer interaction laboratory that specialises in recommender systems and online communities.
Your source for open data from The University of Münster, in Germany.
For detailed information on US and world public opinion polls, turn to American analytics and advisory company, Gallup.
Crowdpac indicates US political candidates’ general political positions — in addition to where they stand on specific issues.
56,764,784 product reviews from the everyman — all in one place. Influenster also gives users access to trending products and new arrivals — allowing you to browse by category. The possibilities are endless!
If you’ve made it to the end of that long list — congratulations! Don’t stop there, head over to the JBH PR Percentage Calculator to discover the myriad ways you can present your percentages.