Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.




GENERAL RESOURCES FOR ALL COUNTRIES

 

Major Sources for World and Country Data and Statistics
Sources for General Country Information


Major Sources for World and Country Data and Statistics


NOTE: Many resources linked on other pages of this site provide comparative country data and statistics in diverse topical areas such as human rights, election results, press freedom, population, and international trade. Some of those are listed here, for major interest areas, but please also search in a page of this site that includes the specific topic of your interest.


Zanran is a specialized search engine to find ''semi-structured" data online, "the numerical data... presented as graphs and tables and charts," such as "a graph in a PDF report, or a table in an Excel spreadsheet, or a bar chart shown as an image in an HTML page... [which are] difficult to find using conventional search engines, which are focused primarily on finding text rather than graphs, tables and bar charts."


International Statistics-- From the Library of Statistics Finland, "Key international statistics and data sources have been gathered into this portal. The selection includes free data sources of the most important and reliable international organisations and communities."

Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data-- From the Data and Program Library Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison, searchable site that "contains over 950 annotated links to data-related resources on the Internet."


Knoema World Data Atlas-- Very useful online data and statistical analysis application for key current and time series statistics for every country, "bringing relevant indicators [from many standard sources] into a common space, visualizing figures, applying analytical functions, creating a set of dashboards, and presenting the outcome." Very good maps, charts, and graphs.

LIS Cross-National Data Center-- "Home to the Luxembourg Income Study Database and the Luxembourg Wealth Study Database. These databases contain harmonised microdata from high- and middle-income countries around the world." Free for use, including the Working Papers series, but requires registration.

OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web-- Annotated links to sites offering "free and easily accessible social, economic and general data from official sources,"current data and time series, by country, IGO, topic, or subject.


Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation-- The international organization of the industrialized, market-economy countries, to exchange information and harmonize policy to maximize economic growth within member countries and assist non-member countries to develop more rapidly. OECD statistics and many data sets are posted online. The Publishing section is a good place to start searching for publications. OECD resources focusing on a particular country (OECD member or not) can be found in the Countries section. The very useful yearly OECD Factbook is "an essential tool providing a global overview of world economic, social and environmental trends." An interactive eXplorer feature allows Factbook time-series data manipulation on a world map and a scatter plot screen.

Statistical Agencies in the UN/ECE Region-- Links to national and international statistics agencies relevant to the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe's 55 member countries in Europe and North America.

Statistical Sites on the World Wide Web-- From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, listing U.S. and international online sources of all kinds of reliable statistics.

Statistics-- From RBA Information Services, in the UK, a very extensive compilation of links to statistics sources worldwide, for many countries and topical areas.

UK Data Service-- UK's academic data service for a "single point of access to a wide range of secondary data including large-scale government surveys, international macrodata, business microdata, qualitative studies and census data."


United Nations Statistics Division-- From the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, a vast array of world, regional, and national statistics from many national and international sources. Note the annual World Statistics Pocketbook in PDF.


World Bank Data-- The World Bank Group's extensive data resources are organized and available through this page, with pointers to social, governance, financial, economic, and climate statistics, data, and reports. The Countries and Economies page presents time-series tables of key indicators by country. Also see the data and analysis available at the Countries and Regions page.


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Sources for General Country Information


Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project-- Really fine "online knowledge repository that provides comprehensive information and customized advice on electoral processes," including comparative country election data and analysis and a huge Encyclopaedia of Elections.


Amnesty International-- Country studies are available from this well-known organization promoting human rights worldwide.

aneki.com-- Provides statistical facts plus continental and world rankings for countries, in various categories and from standard sources.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade offers Country, Economy, and Regional Information and Country and Economy Fact Sheets, the latter in PDF format.

Central Intelligence Agency of the United States publishes a searchable World Factbook reference annual, with data, flags, and maps-- one of the most widely respected online sources of country and world information, with a country comparison and ranking feature.


Charts Bin-- Using standard and mainly international data from authoritative sources, a "web-based data visualization tool that will allow everyone to quickly and easily create rich interactive visualizations with their own data," and also presents statistical data in easy-to-understand maps, charts, and graphs.

Consular Affairs Bureau-- A site for travelers, from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Office of the Canadian government, with abundant and current reports on country characteristics, maps, situations, issues, and risks worldwide, by country.

Country Data-- Very useful and well-organized selection over a wide range of variables, from the Everything International academic site for international business, by Professor Lloyd Russow.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-- Texts of yearly reports by the U.S. Department of State, and related documents. Reports from 1993 to 1999 are available on an archive site.

Country Statistics-- From UNICEF, country data on measures of well-being, particularly for children.

Electoral Geography-- Posts maps and analysis about spatial regularities and patterns of election results around the world, or "mapped politics... a socio-political analysis of voting trends in the world’s 192 countries."

Embassy World-- Directory of the world's embassies and consulates in a searchable database.

Flags of the World-- The Internet's largest and most complete website devoted to the study of flags-- "more than 51,000 pages about flags and... more than 96,000 images of flags of countries, organizations, states, territories, districts and cities, both past and present."


Freedom House-- Many online studies ranking countries on measures of freedom, informative backgrounders, and other publications are offered by this nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization dedicated to promoting democracy around the world. Note especially their extensive yearly online report Freedom in the World.

Gender Equality Data and Statistics-- From the World Bank, an electronic database of gender equality statistics and indicators, by country and category.

GeoHive-- "Site with geopolitical data, statistics on the human population, Earth and more. The main kind of data you can find here is population statistics of regions, countries, provinces and cities. Next to that there are some statistics on economic factors like wealth, infrastructure; statistics on natural phenomena..."

Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme-- The annual Human Development Report is an excellent comprehensive guide to global human development, with analyses of major issues, updated Human Development Indicators that compare the relative levels of human development of over 175 countries, and an agenda to help transform development priorities. Much of the report is available online, and links to regional and national HDI reports.

Human Rights Watch-- Dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world, by investigating and exposing human rights violations and holding abusers accountable. Many country reports online, including their yearly World Report.

Index of Economic Freedom-- From the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, "a [searchable] practical reference guide to the world's economies. It includes country-by-country analyses and the most up-to-date data available on foreign investment codes, taxes, tariffs, banking regulations, monetary policy, black markets, and more."

Infoplease (World section)-- An almanac approach to world and country facts, statistics, and events.

International Foundation for Election Systems-- Private, nonprofit U.S. organization supporting electoral and other democratic institutions in emerging, evolving, and experienced democracies--"one of the world's premier democracy and governance assistance organizations." Insightful electoral information and analysis. See the Election Guide for election news and analysis worldwide.

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance-- Aims to promote and advance sustainable democracy, improve and consolidate electoral processes world-wide, and provide a forum for discussions and action among individuals and organizations involved in democracy promotion. This site from Sweden offers news, analyses, and databases. Note especially Democracy and Gender and Voter Turnout.

International Monetary Fund-- The IMF oversees a wide range of international economic and financial issues. Numerous publications on economic and financial issues, including country information and World Economic Outlook Reports, are available and searchable online. The Financial Soundness Indicators database is "aimed at supporting macroprudential analysis—the surveillance and assessment of the strengths and vulnerabilities of [national] financial systems."

Inter-Parliamentary Union-- Information on the IPU (the world organization of parliaments of sovereign states), the functioning of parliamentary democracy around the world, women in parliaments, and links to parliamentary web sites. The PARLINE Database on National Parliaments gives information about all the functioning national legislative bodies in the world.

Live Currency Converter-- "Converts any amount from one currency to another with more than 150 foreign currenies available. Exchange rates are updated every hour."

Nation Master-- Great site for comparative statistics. "A massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Using the form above, you can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease."


Nations Online-- Thorough compendium of wide-ranging information and links on the world's countries, "a portal of gateways to the countries, cultures and nations in the world, a reference directory and a destination guide."


Pew Global Attitudes Project-- From the Pew Research Center, an excellent "series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects ranging from people's assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day." Note the Publications on Global Attitudes/Foreign Affairs page and the Key Indicators Database, which "allows users to explore public opinion trends in 55 countries on topics ranging from attitudes toward the U.S. to people's assessments of their own lives to views about globalization, democratization, extremism and other important issues."

Population Reference Bureau-- Excellent for authoritative data and analysis on world, regional, and national population and demographics trends. Features a large multimedia repository. Note their Annual Report and their annual World Population Data Sheet for "up-to-date demographic, health, and environment data for all the countries and major regions of the world." Search for data and analysis by topic, region, or country. The handy DataFinder has comparable data on well over 100 population, health, and environment variables for over 200 countries, 29 world regions and sub-regions, and the world as a whole and allows user-created tables. The quarterly Population Bulletins on selected topics are very useful.


Regional and Country Profiles-- From the world-class Electronic Development and Environment Information System (Eldis), a wide variety of detailed country-specific information and analysis.

Superpages-- Helps you to search the "yellow and white pages [telephone] directories from around the world."

Timeanddate.com-- Know the current time and date at locations around the world. The Personal World Clock feature allows you to keep track of time in locations of your own interest.

TimeTicker-- Shows time zones around the world, and current time and date by country.

Transparency International-- "The global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption... by building momentum for the anti-corruption movement, raising awareness and diminishing apathy and tolerance of corruption, as well as devising and implementing practical actions to address it." TI's many online corruption surveys, indices, working papers, and reports analyze and rank countries "in terms of the degree to which they are perceived to be the homes of... public officials who abuse their office for personal gain."

Travelers' Health-- From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including information on countries and regions.

United Nations Population Fund-- "World's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programmes." This U.N. site provides much information, news, and analysis on world population issues, including the annual State of World Population report, free online.

United States Census Bureau's International Programs Section-- A rich computerized data bank containing statistical tables of past, present, and projected demographic and socio-economic data for most countries and all areas of the world.

Universal Currency Converter-- This full version of the Universal Currency Converter figures rates among over 180 currencies. A standard version is also available for most uses.

Universities Worldwide-- Searchable database of links to thousands of universities in over 200 countries.

Voter Turnout from 1945 to Date-- From the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, a database and analysis of voting participation in scores of countries, for parliamentary and presidential elections. Results are available in various comparative forms.

• Weather Forecasts and Climates-- Current global weather and forecasts are found at AccuWeather, CNN, Intellicast Global, and Qwikcast. Weatherbase gives climatological descriptions, historical weather patterns, records, and averages around the world.

World Database of Happiness-- "An ongoing register of scientific research on subjective appreciation of life. It brings together findings that are scattered throughout many studies and provides a basis for synthetic studies." Includes data by country. From Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

World Time Server-- Gives current local times in cities and countries, including real time adjustments for daylight savings time, and compares time differences among places for a given future date. Includes maps.

World Values Survey-- Insightful results and analysis of a major international academic team's investigation of sociocultural and political attitudes and their changes, through representative surveys of the basic values and beliefs of publics in scores of societies, covering a high percentage of the world's population. Principal findings, charts, methodology, bibliography, some articles online.



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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: selchewa@etown.edu