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How to Find Country Information

Internet Resources

Selected Web Resources

Some of these are free web resources. Others will require authentication when you first click on them.

Key U.S. Government Statistical Sources

These are mainly focused on the United States, but some have international comparison sections as well.

On Finding Statistics

READ THIS FIRST

  • Before using any of the internet resources listed in this guide, be sure to read the short, but critical, information about it!
  • Print Resources, i.e. BOOKS, can often
    • be easier to navigate than internet sources.
    • go further back in time, useful for comparisons.
  • Be SURE TO READ the fine print describing the statistic and its scope, limits, etc. This critical information may be in footnotes.
  • TWO GOOD SOURCES with definitions for novices
  • Be alert to comparing data from different sources or over time -- you might end up inadvertently comparing apples to oranges. That usually ends badly.
  • There is no one great source for all country data. Think of this as a treasure hunt.
  • Browse the STATISTICAL CATEGORIES listing to get an idea of which source might lead you to which statistic.

Statistical Categories

CIA World Fact Book
Among the statistics given for each country in the CIA World Factbook:

Agriculture - products 
Airports
Birth rate 
Budget (revenues & expenditures) 
Commodities, Exports 
Current account balance 
Death rate 
Debt - external 
Distribution of family income - Gini index, Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
Economic aid - donor, recipient 
Electricity - consumption, exports, imports, production 
Ethnic groups 
Exports - partners 
GDP (official exchange rate) 
GDP - composition by sector (agriculture, industry, service), per capita, purchasing power parity, real growth rate 
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate,  deaths, people living with HIV/AIDS 
Imports - commodities, Imports - partners 
Industrial production growth rate 
Industries 
Infant mortality rate 
Internet users 
Labor force 
Labor force - by occupation 
Land use 
Languages 
Life expectancy at birth by sex 
Literacy by sex 
Major infectious diseases 
Military expenditures
Military manpower 
Natural Gas - consumption, exports, imports, production, proved reserves 
Net migration rate 
Oil - consumption, exports, imports, production, proved reserves 
Population below poverty line 
Population by sex & age groups
Population growth rate 
Ports 
Public debt 
Radios 
Railroads 
Refugees 
Religions 
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 
Roads 
Ships 
Unemployment rate 
Telephones 
Televisions 
Total fertility rate

Passport / Global Market Information Database
Below is a list of many of the statistics available. Categories are in all caps.

ADVERTISING AND MEDIA
AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES 
Air pollution 
Annual rates of inflation 
AUTOMOTIVES 
Availability of digital exchanges 
Average hourly earnings 
Average monthly earnings 
Average number of occupants per household 
BANKING AND FINANCE 
Births 
Book titles published 
Causes of death 
Cinema and film 
Civil aviation 
Commercial energy consumption 
Conservation 
CONSUMER EXPENDITURE 
CONSUMER MARKET SIZES 
CONSUMER PRICES AND COSTS 
Consumption of refinery products 
CULTURAL INDICATORS 
Deaths 
Deforestation 
Divorce rates 
ECONOMIC INDICATORS 
Economically active population 
Energy production 
ENERGY RESOURCES AND OUTPUT 
Energy reserves 
ENVIRONMENTAL DATA 
Exchange rates 
Exports 
EXTERNAL TRADE 
Facsimile machines in use 
Female population: January 1st 
Fertility rates 
GDP -- Government expenditure by category [total] 
Government finance 
HEALTH 
Health expenditure 
Higher education 
HOME OWNERSHIP 
Hours of work 
HOUSEHOLD PROFILES  
Households by facilities, by number of occupants, by number of rooms 
Illness 
Imports 
INCOME AND EARNINGS 
Income and savings 
Industrial production index 
INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES AND OUTPUT 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 
Internet access 
Internet penetration 
LABOUR 
Length of tourist stay 
Libraries 
Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy 
LITERACY AND EDUCATION 
Literacy levels and duration of education 
Male population: January 1st 
Marriage rates 
Medical services 
Merchant shipping 
Metal production 
Mineral production 
Museums 
Number of households 
Nutrition 
POPULATION 
Population density 
Population aged 0-14: January 1st 
Population aged 15-64: January 1st 
Population aged 65+: January 1st 
Pre-primary education 
Primary education 
Primary energy consumption 
Possession of household durables 
Rail transport 
Residential consumption of electricity 
RETAIL DISTRIBUTION 
Retail industry 
Retail sales 
Retailers 
Road transport 
Rural population 
Secondary education 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
Telephones 
Telex subscribers 
Textile production 
Total capital telecommunications investment 
Total consumption of pesticides 
Total employed population 
Total population: at mid-year 
Total population: at January 1st 
Total unemployed population 
Tourism expenditure 
Tourism receipts 
Tourist accommodation 
Tourist arrivals 
Trade balance 
TRANSPORT 
TRAVEL AND TOURISM 
Trends in money supply 
Unemployment rate 
Urban development 
Urban population 
Waste 
Water and sanitation

Human Development Reports
Among the statistics provided:

AIDS
Armed forces 
Birth 
Calorie supply 
Cigarette consumption 
Computers 
Contraception 
Death 
Debt 
Defense 
Development assistance 
Disabilities 
Doctors 
Energy 
Fax machines 
Fertility 
Food 
Foreign aid 
Foreign investment 
Gender empowerment 
Growth rate 
Health 
Health expenditures 
Higher education 
Housing 
Human development index 
Human rights 
Immunization 
Infant mortality 
Internet 
Land use 
Life expectancy 
Literacy 
Malaria 
Military 
Newspapers 
Nurses 
Per capita GDP 
Political participation 
Population 
Post offices 
Sanitation 
Science 
Technology 
Telephones 
Televisions 
Tuberculosis 
Underweight children 
Under-five mortality 
Urban vs rural 
Water 
Weapons

 

Tips:
The tables, in the section labeled "Human Development Indicators", are only available from 1999 forward.

International Data Base (IDB)
The statistics generally available are:

Ethnicity 
Family planning 
Fertility and child survivorship 
Households 
Infant mortality 
Labor force, employment, and income 
Language 
Life tables 
Literacy 
Marital Status 
Migration 
Population by age and sex 
Religion 
Vital rates 

Tips:

  • You probably want to choose ALL AVAILABLE YEARS in the date selection area.
  • All listed statistics are not available for all countries.

International Labor Comparisons
Among the many topics are:

annual hours worked 
employment 
full-time and part-time employment 
GDP per capita 
growth of GDP per capita 1990-2000 
hourly compensation 
labor force growth 
labor force participation rates 
manufacturing productivity 
social insurance expenditures 
unemployment 
unemployment rate for high school vs college degrees

Print, i.e. BOOKS, Sources

Selected Print Resources

PLEASE NOTE that these REFERENCE books can be in TWO (or more!) DIFFERENT locations depending on the year. Click on an individual title and then scrutinize the OSCAR record description that will appear to see WHERE it is and what YEARS we have. In some cases, we do not have current years in print, only electronic (see "Internet Resources" list in the column to the left).

Europa Yearbook

Europa World Yearbook

Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

Africa South of the Sahara

The Far East and Australasia 

The Middle East and North Africa

South America, Central America, and the Caribbean

CIA World Fact Book

Statesman's Yearbook

UN Statistical Yearbook 

Unesco Statistical Yearbook 1967-1999

Human Development Report

Demographic Yearbook (United Nations)

World Directory of Minorities (2nd ed., 1997)