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The World Bank's World Development Indicators is one of the most comprehensive sources of development-related statistics and includes more than 1000 economic, social and environmental indicators for over 200 economies (with some data back to 1960). Start by browsing the World Bank Data homepage or go straight to the DataBank and select the World Development Indicators database (direct link below).
The Indicators are organized into 10 categories: economic policy and debt, education, environment, financial sector, health, infrastructure, labor and social protection, poverty, private sector and trade, and public sector.
Compiles over 30 databases produced by United Nations Statistics and Population Divisions and other UN agencies under one interface. While time period and geographic coverage vary for each dataset, data are generally current and far-reaching.
Provides free access to a portion of the Organisation for Economic Development's OECD.stat database (available by subscription). Data is available for the 34 OECD member countries and covers various economic and social themes.
“Contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 195 countries, annually from 1981-2007.” Includes: physical integrity rights, civil liberties, workers’ right and rights of women (political, economic and social). Use “Download Data” to “Create a new dataset”. First-time users will need to register.
Statistics covering human rights, security, conflicts, military expenditure, nuclear weapons and related measures—including several indexes and scales, compiled from a variety of sources. Also check out the direct links to project partners, such as Freedom House, Political Terror Scale, etc.
“Open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2008.” Search the database or browse by date, region, country, perpetrator or types (weapon, attack, target).
The International Monetary Fund's hosts several notable subscription-based datasets including: International Financial Statistics (IFS), Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS), and Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS). Some data are freely available, such as the IMF "data mapper" (http://www.imf.org/external/datamapper).
Passport/GMID (Global Market Information Database)
International company, country, industry and market information. Also includes a selection of demographic and social measures. Available by subscription, check your library for access.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) collects the data for more than 200 countries from Member States and international organizations. The UIS Data Centre contains over 1,000 types of indicators and raw data on education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication and allows users to download predefined tables or build their own. Summary data (profiles and global rankings) are also available.
"The Global Health Observatory (GHO) is WHO's portal providing access to data and analyses for monitoring the global health situation. It provides critical data and analyses for key health themes, as well as direct access to the full database. The GHO presents data from all WHO programmes and provides links to supporting information."
The World Values Survey is administered to nationally representative samples covering values and perceptions of life, the environment, work, family, politics and society, religion and morale, and national identity, as well as demographic characteristics. Download data files or analyze online.
Index based on based on civil liberties, conduct of elections, media freedom, participation, public opinion, functioning government, corruption and stability. (Users may need to register to download index.)
This index measures income distribution. Specifically, the extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution on a scale of 0 – 100 (0 represents perfect equality, 100 implies perfect inequality).