World Data Sources

What's on this page:

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Primary sources are responsible for collecting and maintaining up-to-date data. However, the usual raw tabular formats are hard to read or use. Data definitions vary substantially from one country to the next. Primary sources also are the places to go for exact definitions and measurement techniques. Secondary sources repackage primary-source, often by standardizing definitions across many countries for the purpose of comparison. Secondary sources also sometimes permit selection of individual series.

Primary Sources

Government agencies collecting and maintaining raw data series
Lists of Links by Country to Central Banks, Finance Ministries, Government Data Collection Agencies, etc. Economics Departments, Institutes and Research Centers (EDIRC) Comprehensive list of statistical offices, central banks, and university research centers by country. Both secondary and primary sources are listed. Searchable data base. Maintained by Christian Zimmermann, at the Center for Research on Economic Fluctuations and Employment (CREFE) at University of Quebec at Montreal.

Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources: Government and private sites culling data from primary sources for presentation with analysis, graphs, or for export to statistical packages. Secondary sources usually offer standardized definitions across many countries for the purpose of comparison.
Summaries and comparisons of data by country. Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences(Univ. of Toronto) Resources and links include Penn World Tables: Cross-country comparisons but data end in 1992.
CIA World Factbook The CIA's maps, political, and economic fact summary by country.
Pacific Exchange Rate Service Data base of selectable exchange rates by country, maintained by Werner Antweiler, University of British Columbia.
Universal Currency Converter Convert foreign exchange at current rates.
International and Regional Organizations for policy analysis, lending, coordination, trade, discussion, etc. by country. Asian Development Bank Asian Development Bank.
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) Inter-American Development Bank.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) OECD.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) IMF.
World Bank World Bank.
World Trade Organization (WTO) WTO.
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC) UNCTAD/WTO.
U.N. Statistics Division/UNSD U.N. Statistics Division.
European Union European Union, English version. See also: List of Agencies, U.S. Mission, and other language choices.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) North American Free Trade Agreement.