General Data Sources from Global/Multilateral Institutions

Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

This portal draws on the intelligence gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency and provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues for 267 world entities.



Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union (EU) and provides data covering the EU, regions within EU countries, Candidate countries as well as other significant countries. Its main role is to process and publish comparable statistical information at European level.

Data categories covered include general and regional statistics (including gross domestic product, population and other headline indicators), economy and finance (including detailed breakdowns of gross domestic product and sectoral productivity), population and social conditions (including mortality rates, population projections and labour force surveys), industry, trade and services (including detailed breakdown of economic activity by sector), agriculture and fisheries (including agricultural production and fish catches), international trade (including imports and exports within and outside the EU), transport, environment and energy, and science and technology (including research and development expenditures and researcher employment by gender).

Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting statistical topics in an easily understandable way.  The articles make up an encyclopaedia of European statistics, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and provides numerous links to further information and the latest data and metadata and a portal for occasional and regular users.


Global Go To Think Tank Index

This annual report contains an exhaustive list of global ‘think tanks’ in many areas of public policy research and analysis, specifically defence and national security, economic policy (domestic and international), education policy, energy and resource policy, environment, food and water security, foreign policy and international affairs, health policy (domestic and international), international development, science and technology, social policy, and transparency and good governance.


International Development Research Centre

The International Development Research Centre is part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts and invests in knowledge, innovation and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world. The portal provides access to the organisation’s resource library (research results in the form of various publications, support to researchers and tools for development actors).


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis conducts policy-oriented research into issues that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. This includes pressing concerns that affect the future of all of humanity such as climate change, energy security, air quality and greenhouse gasses, energy, risk and resilience, water, population aging and sustainable development. Large-scale initiatives are also undertaken such as integrated solutions for water, energy and land, arctic futures, tropical futures, water futures and solutions, and a global energy assessment. The portal also provides access to the institute’s models, tools and data.


International Labour Organisation ILOSTAT

The International Labour Organisation’s ILOSTAT portal provides a wide range of employment-related data including total and economically active population, employment, unemployment, hours of work, wages, labour costs, consumer price indices, occupational injuries, strikes and lockouts, and household income and expenditure.


International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund has a wide range of data that is often not available elsewhere. This includes the World Economic Outlook Databases which provides consistent economic forecasts; International Financial Statistics covering gross domestic product, inflation and other economic data; the Principal Global Indicators; the Balance of Payments Statistics; Coordinated Direct Investment Survey; the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey; the Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves and the Direction of Trade Statistics.


International Trade Centre Trade Map

The International Trade Centre Trade Map portal provides access to indicators on export performance, international demand, alternative markets and competitive markets, as well as a directory of importing and exporting companies. It covers 220 countries and territories and 5,300 products of the Harmonized System, and trade flows are available from the most aggregated level to the tariff line level. Access to the portal’s market analysis tools is free for registered users in developing countries.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a wide range of data covering OECD countries and often other G20 countries.  The OECD provides foreign direct investment statistics and forecasts, indicators of product market regulation, green growth indicators and total official and private flows of development aid.  The OECD iLibrary is the online library of the OECD.  It features its books, papers and statistics, and is the gateway to the OECD’s analysis and data.  One can also access data visualisations of country comparisons based on  OECD data across several categories.


RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a non-partisan non-profit institution that aims to improve policy and decision-making through rigorous, objective, peer-reviewed and fact-based research and analysis. Its research spans key issues such as energy, education, health care, justice, the environment, international affairs and national security. The portal provides access to RAND’s research areas/topics and published research reports. Most publicly-available research documents published since 1998 are available as free eBook downloads. One can also search over 20,000 RAND publications dating back to 1946.

United Nations

United Nations

This site operates as a high-level portal of headline data from the wide range of United Nations (UN) bodies.

United Nations

United Nations Global Issues Overview

The UN’s most visible efforts are conflict resolution and peacekeeping. However, the UN and its agencies are also engaged in a wide array of activities to improve people’s lives around the world. The portal provides an overview of some of these issues in depth, and links to other resources. Issues covered are Africa, ageing, AIDS, atomic energy, big data for the Sustainable Development Goals, children, climate change, decolonisation, democracy, ending poverty, food, gender equality, health, human rights, international law and justice, migration, oceans and the law of the sea, peace and security, population, refugees and water.


United Nations Data Portal | UnData Portal Sources

The UNdata portal is a web-based ‘portal of portals’ single-entry data service, providing access to international statistical databases. Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources (numerous databases or tables collectively known as ‘datamarts’, containing over 60 million data points) compiled by the UN statistical system and other international agencies. The portal covers a wide range of statistical themes including agriculture, crime, communication, development assistance, education, energy, environment, finance, gender, health, labour market, manufacturing, national accounts, population and migration, science and technology, tourism, transport and trade.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

The UNCTADstat portal provides data and statistics on trade and development for countries and products globally with a focus on developing and transition economies.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs World Population Prospects

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs World Population Prospects

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs World Population Prospects portal provides a comprehensive set of demographic data and indicators to assess population trends at the global, regional and national levels and to calculate other key indicators for monitoring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

United Nations

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

The mandate of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. The portal provides access to reports on various topics relevant to Africa.

The World Bank

World BankWorld Bank Data Catalog

The World Bank has a database of indicators for development covering agriculture and rural development, health, aid effectiveness, infrastructure, climate change, labour and social protection, economy and growth, poverty, education, the private sector, energy and mining, the public sector, environment, science and technology, external debt, social development, the financial sector and urban development.  (See also 5 reasons to check out the World Bank’s new data catalog.)

World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum sees itself as the pre-eminent international organisation for public-private cooperation via engaging with political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  The portal provides access to many ad-hoc and regular publications such as the annual Global Competitiveness Report, the annual Global Risk Report and others such as the Future of Work Report.

The Strategic Intelligence portal presents information on global issues underpinning economies and industries.  Users can visualise and understand 120+ topics and the interconnections and interdependencies between them.

World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization deals with the agreed rules of trade between nations with the goal of helping producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business. The portal provides access to a range of resources such as trade statistics, economic research and publications.