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Journalism & Professional Writing

Resources for investigative reporting and research, as well as other writing projects

General Statistical Links

Getting Started (Country Descriptions and Statistics)

Background Notes  (U.S. Department of State) -  Includes facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty.

BBC News Country Profiles - History, politics and economic background; includes audio or video clips from BBC archives.

CIA World Factbook (U.S. Central Intelligence) - Statistical information on each country includes land and water area, boundaries, elevations, population, birth & death rates, life expectancy, ethnic groups, GDP, inflation rate, unemployment rate, exports, imports, transportation, the military and more.

Population Reference Bureau - Private nonprofit organization providing information and statistics on population, health and environment for United States and international community.

NationMaster - General statistics on over 300 categories from almost every country in the world.  You can compare two countries at a time.

United Nations

UN Data - Statistical portal covering such areas as: agriculture, education, energy, industry, labour, national accounts, population, tourism and other topics of interest.

Human Development Report - Data on a variety of quality of life (example, access to health care, life expectancy, education) variables are provided. 

Least Developed Countries Report - Individual statistical profiles of the 48 Least Developed Countries.

Social Indicators - Includes statistics on: Childbearing, Education, Health, Housing, Human settlements, Literacy, Income and economic activity, Population, Unemployment, Water supply and sanitation, and Youth and elderly populations.

Statistical Yearbook of the United Nations - Statistical data for more than 270 countries/territories on population, labor, agriculture, forestry, fishing, industry, mining, manufacturing, transportation, communication, tourism, finance, energy, wages and prices, and more. Updated by the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.

Millenium Development Goals Indicators  - Presents official data for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

World Bank

World Bank Open Data - Search by country and by topic.

World Bank Indicators - Provides a comprehensive selection of economic, social and environmental indicators, drawing on data from the World Bank and more than 30 partner agencies. The database covers more than 900 indicators for 210 economies with data back to 1960. 

International Monetrary Fund (IMF)

IMF eLibrary Data - Publiishes a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

OECD Statistics - International statistics covering multiple topics.

League of Nations

 Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations (Northwestern University Library) - Coverage from 1926-1944.




By Regions

United Nations Statistical Authorities - Central repository of country profiles of statistical systems. The country profiles include, among others, a brief history of the country's statistical system, legal basis, the statistical programme and much more.

Directory of International and Foreign Statistical Agencies - Compiled by the US Census Bureau


UN Economic Commission for Africa - Promotes the economic and social development of Africa. African Statistical Yearbook covers agriculture production, employment, finance, health, population and trade. 

African Development Bank - Statistical data on Africa.

African Development Indicators (World Bank) - Detailed statistical collection containing over 1,600 indicators covering 53 African countries from 1961-2008.

Afrobarometer - Independent, nonpartisan research project that measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in Africa.

ASIA, the Middle East and the Pacific

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific (United Nations) -Statistics cover a wide variety of subjects such as agriculture, communication, industry, population and transportation. 

Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries (Asian Development Bank) - Provides summary tables for the region and detailed tables for each country.  Statistics cover a wide range of subjects such as agriculture, energy, industry, population, national accounts and trade.

Middle East Statistics (UN Economic Commission for Western Asia) - ESCWA comprises 14 Arab countries in Western Asia: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

SESRIC (Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries) - Statistical data on the 57 OIC members.



EuroStat (European Union) - Official website of the statistical agency of the European Commission with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions.

European Central Bank - Statistics support the monetary policy of the ECB and other tasks of the Eurosystem and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).

Europe (UN Commission for Europe) - Statistical database.

TransMonEE Database (UNICEF) - Data covering economic iand social ssues relevant to the situation and wellbeing of children, young people and women in the 28 countries of Central Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia and others).

Latin America

Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) - Data on economy, population and social development and welfare. 

Statistical Databases (InterAmerican Bank)Compilation of over 1,000 searchable statistics and indicators for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CEPALStats (UN Economcio Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) - Gateway to all the statistical information of Latin America and the Caribbean countries collected, systematized and published by ECLAC.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) - Statistics on the 28 member countries of CARICOM.

MOXLAD (Montevideo-Oxford University Latin America Economic History Database) - Historical statistics from 1870-2010.





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