Statistical Data Sources
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) produces the World Factbook annually. Profiles can be selected by country and provide information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues of 267 world entities. Additional reference tabs cover such content as maps of major world regions, flags of the world, and a valuable guide to country comparisons. The Factbook is available for free download in compressed, .zip file format.
The globalEDGE Database of International Business Statistics (DIBS) is a comprehensive source of statistical data. 2,460 fields of data are offered, which can be accessed across specified years and countries. Interested academics (i.e., students, faculty, and researchers affiliated with a higher education institution, government agency, or think tank) may download data free of charge. The only requirements are that you register on globalEDGE using an institutional (.edu or .gov) email address and provide a description of the study you are conducting using DIBS (each time you download data).
The World Employment and Social Outlook - Trends is a flagship publication by the International Labour Organization that examines the latest statistics and projections on several indicators of the labor market. The data includes items such as global employment/unemployment, continuing inequality, falling wage shares, and other factors driving the rising middle class. The report also addresses structural factors affecting the world of work.
This searchable statistical database provided by the United Nations Statistics Division was created to provide current, relevant and reliable statistics free of charge to the global community. The database covers a number of different areas such as employment, industry, and trade. A single interface, customizable tables, filter and search options make sorting and locating specific statistical information easier.
Enterprise surveys measure business perceptions of the investment climate and can be used to analyze the link between job creation and productivity growth. Data is available for over 100 countries and more than 100,000 companies. Enterprise surveys may be filtered and viewed by country and/or topics; indicators are available on topics such as corruption, crime, finance, infrastructure, innovation and technology, taxes, and more. The site also has research papers, country notes, and enterprise notes.
The Chartbook is published annually by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, with past editions in the archive. The statistical indicators included in the comparisons are gross domestic product, labor market, competitiveness in manufacturing, and consumer prices. Documents are available in HTM and PDF formats. Please note: The BLS has discontinued updates of the International Labor Comparisons. The 2012 update will be the last.
The site for African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA) offers statistical data on bilateral trade exchanges between African trade organizations and the United States. The site also provides statistical data specific to trade between the United States and individual African countries, as well as requirements the countries need to achieve to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA.
The economics and statistics section of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) website provides information about international poverty, the environment, and general economic indicators. Reports are available free online.
The site provides an annual review by BP focusing on statistical data on energy trends worldwide. Information provided includes consumption, production, and prices and can be viewed by energy type, country, or region. Reports are available for downloading and printing.
Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) is dedicated to making information available to researchers, policymakers, and the general public. The site focuses on the changing relationship between human beings and the environment. It includes their research and statistics and a gateway to some of the World Bank's data.
The CEPII is a French research center in international economics. It provides research, studies, databases, and analysis on the world economy and its development. The information throughout the site aims to aid private and public decision makers, international institutions, economists, civil society, and the media. Registration is required to view most databases.
The Public Opinion sector of the European Commission offers surveys, studies, and reports addressing issues such as citizenship, social situation, culture, and the environment. The site contains a tool called The Eurobarometer which allows users to select from a list of over 50 questions regarding the European Union. Results are then displayed in a graph or table.
Provided by the European Commission, the Eurostat website includes all the latest statistical news releases of the European Union. Its statistical data covers the economy, industry, trade, agriculture, transportation, environment, and science. The publications section of the site provides recent statistical documents available for download in PDF.
FAOSTAT provides food and agriculture related statistics gathered by the United Nations. The site provides a wide set of time series data on production, trade, food balance sheets, fertilizer, land use, and more. The database is searchable by country and category.
This site provides data mainly on the population of regions, countries, provinces, and cities. Some statistics on economic factors like wealth and infrastructure are also available. The site includes country-specific pages that provide detailed population data, as well as rankings of the world's largest countries and cities.
Provided by the World Bank's Development Data Group, this resource compiles data on household consumption patterns in developing countries. Although the resource includes statistics from 92 countries, it specifically focuses on the BRICS countries, including detailed market information regarding the provinces of Brazil, India, and South Africa. Several sectors of household consumption are covered in the database, including energy, health, financial services, and education.
The International Database is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau's International Programs Center (IPC). It is a computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world.
The statistics section of the International Energy Agency (IEA) website contains numerous statistical databases which all provide information and figures about energy use worldwide. Also available are a variety of publications that cover topics such as energy indicators, consumption, energy balances, and emissions. These publications can be downloaded for free in PDF.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) website divides statistics into ten categories: from business regulations to entrepreneurship survey measures. The databases aggregate cross-country business information directly from business registries. The data includes 118 countries and can be viewed online or downloaded into Excel.
This section of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) contains links to IDEA's databases. The site contains information on direct democracy, electoral justice, electoral system design, political finance, and information on voter turnout and voting from abroad. There are also links to partnership networks that provide additional information on democracy and elections worldwide.
The ILOSTAT site allows the user to access data from the International Labour Organization Bureau of Statistics. The resource includes country level labor-related data covering employment, unemployment, productivity, wages, injuries, and more. The database covers some 200 countries and includes information used to publish the Yearbook of Labour Statistics.
The World Economic Outlook database section of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website includes key economic indicators from around the world. The data is the product of a comprehensive interdepartmental review of world economic developments, resulting in the World Economic Outlook (WEO) publication. The data is drawn primarily from information the IMF staff gathers through its consultations with member countries.
The country page of the International Trade Center website contains information on specific countries. Each country page includes tables and graphs based on detailed trade statistics benchmarking the national trade (export and import) performance of the country, and provides several indicators on export supply and import demand. The trade statistics are available in web format, while all other analysis is provided in PDF documents. Information is also broken down by region.
Latinobarometro is an annual public opinion survey that was carried out in 18 Latin American countries from 1995 til present. It expresses the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of more than 600 million inhabitants of the region. The results of the polls are available in its annual press release. It researches the development of democracy and economies as well as societies, using indicators of opinion, attitudes, behaviors and values. The data is downloadable in "Data Bank" section.
The statistics section of NationMaster allows users to compare various statistics across nations. It offers many rankings ranging from the richest and most populous countries to most generous and most athletic countries, and provides these rankings in graphical format as well. Individual country profiles with maps, flags, and lists of major cities and states are also available.
Provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the FAQ site explains the often confusing Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It shows how PPPs are calculated, the major uses of PPPs, the methodology used to prepare the PPP data, and when the statistics are updated and revised. The latest PPP results can be downloaded at http://stats.oecd.org under the Prices Purchasing Power Parities tab.
OFFSTATS, run by the University of Auckland Library, has links to resources that provide general and country-specific statistical information. The listed web pages mainly come from statistical offices, central banks, and government departments which contain social, economic, and general data.
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) website provides dynamic and comprehensive statistical data on a wide range of key statistics for its member countries and major additional countries. For each indicator presented, there is explanatory text including a definition, explanation of long-term trends, and references. Under each table is a link to an Excel spreadsheet enabling the user to access the data.
This page provides statistics for Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries on a myriad of topics including agriculture, economic outlook, health, trade, and more. Some data is available directly on the site, and the rest is downloadable through Excel.
The Penn World Tables is provided by the Center for International Comparisons of Production, Income, and Prices (CIC) at the University of Pennsylvania. The tables include macroeconomic data covering 190 countries and 33 variables such as exchange rates, growth rates per annum, and constant price GDP per capita. Access to the Penn World Tables is available from the University of Groningen. Scroll down to expert data access to view Penn World Tables in several different formats.
As a world leader in trade statistics, Piers Trade Intelligence has a variety of products and solutions that address the needs of researchers and business people. One of the more useful resources is "Piers StatsPlus," which provides global trends, market share and commodity data across a multitude of industries. Products and services are fee-based, but users can sign up for a 7-day free trial.
The Population Reference Bureau is an interactive data query tool that provides a wide variety of data including several variables under population, employment, health, education, and environment categories. Complete country profiles are also available, which contain statistical summaries for individual countries around the world.
Qlik is a software company focusing on providing business intelligence by simplifying the way businesses use data to make the best decisions. Also provided through this resource is a business discovery platform, QlikView, which allocates user-driven business data on a variety of organizations worldwide. This resource makes it simple for businesses to compare data.
Sponsored by the American Economic Association, the Resources for Economists on the Internet (RFE) has a comprehensive document that lists all starting points for economic data research. The site contains U.S. macro and regional data, world and non-U.S. data, and finance and financial markets data. The site lists more than 2,000 resources in 97 sections and sub-sections.
Statista is an online statistical database that provides statistics in a variety of topics. Industry analyses and industry reports are available for a variety of industries including: agriculture, construction, energy, finance, and more.
Maintained by the University of Michigan, this site provides an exhaustive list of statistical data sources. Information can be organized by topic or alphabetically. Some information is only available to users who create a friend account or who are faculty, staff, alumni, or students at U-M.
The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) was formed to act as a subsidiary organ of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Statistics found within the site cover economic and social indicators for countries that are members of the OIC.
This sub-website, International Financial Statistics, within the official website of the Bank for International Settlements provides a wide range of statistical data. Statistics covered include the global financial system, such as the cross-border lending and borrowing, operations in the global foreign exchange markets, and external debt positions of individual countries.
The PRS Group maintains multiple databases of country-specific information, reports and an international risk guide as part of its primary business, monitoring the climate for international business around the world. Domestic and economic indicators, risk ratings, forecasts, geographic and political data, and social indicators are all provided. Most statistics are only accessible to registered users for a fee, although there are free samples available.
Trading Economics provides a variety of economic indicators for many countries around the world. Data can be filtered by geographic location, population, interest rate, and many other indicators. The site also includes quarterly and long-term forecasts for a multitude of economic indicators.
Quick electronic access to comprehensive statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and stocks, mergers and acquisitions, and the operations of transnational corporations (TNCs). Currently, FDI country fact sheets for nearly 200 economies are available, as well as a link to the full World Investment Report.
The Investment Country Profiles created by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) present a country’s inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and stocks, and activities and basic information about the largest transnational corporations within that country. Major sections in the profiles include a summary of major trends, the methodology used to define FDI, and a detailed set of statistics. The profiles are available in PDF.
Created by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), this statistical database provides extensive coverage of topics including economic trends, foreign direct investment (FDI) in-flows, out-flows, and stocks, population, commodity prices, and many others. Information can be displayed as a chart or graph and be exported easily in several file formats.
The Human Development Report is an independent report commissioned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This site includes the Human Development Reports which can be filtered by year, region, and theme. Each report provides agenda-setting data and analysis. The report brings attention to international issues and policy options that place people at the center of strategies to meet the obstacles of development. The full report is available to view in PDF format.
Each year UNESCO collects statistical data on education, science, culture and communication in the UNESCO Statistical Yearbook. The website is an attempt to make the research and data more accessible and provides access to world education indicators which allows the data to be accessed by year, region, or country.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) web site provides a complete and detailed set of statistical information and data on its 53 member countries. This includes demographic, gender, transportation, and social/economic trends databases. An advanced and user friendly search engine makes the search activity easy to use.
This site provides a series of publications from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) that address issues such as poverty, trade, energy, and the environment. Annual reports are also available under the flagship publications sections, which includes the International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics and the Industrial Development Report. Some of the downloadable PDF documents include a “Statistical Annex."
The World Bank Data tab is a portal to an enormous database of world statistics. Information is organized by country and topic. A separate section is devoted to world development indicators such as agricultural development, economic policy, and the environment.
The World Bank's World Development Indicators cover a wide range of topics including agriculture and rural development, infrastructure, public sector, private sector, and education. Data may be viewed and filtered by indicator, topic, or country and covers more than 1,000 indicators from over 200 countries from the period of 1960 to present.
The Global Health Observatory (GHO) is a resource compiled by the World Health Organization to provide health-related statistics from around the world. The site combines theme pages covering global health priorities and data sets on a number of indicators, countries, and health topics.
Developed by the United Nations University (UNU) World Institute for Development Research (WIDER), the World Income Inequality Database (WIID) provides information on income inequality for developed, developing, and transition countries.
The World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) is a software program that retrieves information on world trade and tariffs, which is collected from organizations like the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), Commodity Trade (UN Comtrade), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Trade Analysis Information System (TRAINS), and the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Integrated Data Base (IDB). Free registration is required to access database and some data requires a subscription.
International Trade Statistics is an annual report that provides comprehensive, comparable and up-to-date statistics on trade in merchandise and commercial services for an assessment of world trade flows by country, region and main product groups or service categories. The overview explains the main features of trade for the past year, an outlook towards trade in the current year, global trade and output developments, and more. The entire report is available for download using Acrobat (PDF).