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Resources, tips, tools and data sources for economics research at Carleton

Where to Start

Take cues from the literature you already have for possible data sources. Early on, search the following resources, which will either lead you directly to data or will give you vital information about who collects the type of data you need.

Data Archives and Data Catalogs

See also

Sites with Research Articles and Data

Search these portals to search across many sites at once. Items are usually selected for inclusion based on their relevance and quality.

Government Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations

International Data

World Bank

World Development Indicators
Statistical data for over 550 development indicators and time series data from 1960-2002 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups. Data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental indicators.
For data documentation, see reference book: World Development Indicators, Ref HC 59.15 .W656.

World Bank - Data
Their data and maps section of their web page.

Data by Country
A listing of country-level data collected by the World Bank.

United Nations

Statistical Yearbook
CC Reference HA12.5 .U63 2001
Like the Statistical Abstract of the United States, this book is a great way to find out what kind of data are collected by the UN and where to find them.

Combines 15 databases and 55 million records from different UN agencies and branches.  Topics include agriculture, employment, education, health, human development, industry, and more. Replaces the now defunct UN Common Database.

UN Statistics Division -- Unrestricted Access Databases
Find listed and described on this page all unrestricted access databases from the UN, including:

  • Demographic Yearbook
  • InfoNation
  • Millennium Indicators Database
  • National Accounts Main Aggregates Database
  • Population statistics
  • Social Indicators


Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

OECD Factbook 2008
This compendium of statistics collected by the OECD is free on the web. A good way to learn what types of data are collected by this organization and where to find them.

OECD in Figures
Full-text via ProQuest and Business Source Premier. Use the Electronic Journals List to access. Similar to the Factbook.

Though Carleton does not subscribe to most material on this large site, searching here is the best way to find full citation information for publications from the OECD. Interlibrary Loan is an option for many titles. Talk to a librarian for assistance.

European Union

European Union Encyclopedia and Directory 2005
CC Reference HC241.2 .E8334
This reference book contains basic country statistics tables, and can help one identify which agencies collect which data, and how those data will be organized on eurostat.

Detailed and comparable statistical data at EU level. See also the official web site of the European Union.

International Monetary Fund

International Financial Statistics. Yearbook
CC Ref HG 3881 .I627
Library has 1979 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor.

International Financial Statistics. Monthly
CC Ref HG 3881 .I626
Library has 1948 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor.

International Financial Statistics Online
Time series data back to 1948. Best used in concert with at least one paper issue for documentation and to understand the numbering system. See Kristin for help using this database.

Balance of Payment Statistics Yearbook
CC Ref HF 1014 .I6
Library has from 1981 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor.

Government Finance Statistics Yearbook
CC Ref HJ 101 .G68
CC Ref HJ 101 .G682 CD-Rom (March 2006
Library has from 1980 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor. The CD-Rom provides time series data from the yearbooks.

Direction of Trade Statistics. Yearbook
CC Reference HF91 .D574
Library has from 1974 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor.

Directon of Trade Statistics. Quarterly
CC Reference HF91 .D57
Library has from 1994 to the present. Back issues are shelved in general stacks, second floor.

United States Census

International Data Base - Census Bureau
Data band for 227 countries plus some useful links.

Government Statistical Agencies

Governments on the WWW
Quick links to national, regional, and international government web pages. Close competitors include:

International Organizations

Yahoo Regional: Countries

Librarian's Index to the Internet: Government

Guides to International Data

International Agencies and Information on the Web
Intergovernmental agencies, foreign governments, statistics, U.S. policy, and more.

Penn World Tables
"...a set of national accounts economic time series covering many countries...."

Western European Studies Section
Links to all aspects of this region that were selected by librarian specialists; includes historical sources.