International Data Sources

LIS Cross-National Data Center

Its purpose is to train, facilitate, promote and conduct cross-national comparative research on socio-economic outcomes and on the institutional factors that determine those results.

LIS, formerly known as The Luxembourg Income Study, is a data archive and research center dedicated to cross-national analysis and is home of two databases:

The Luxembourg Income Study Database (LIS) is the largest available income database of harmonised microdata collected from about 50 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australasia spanning five decades.

The newer Luxembourg Wealth Study Database (LWS), is the only cross-national wealth microdatabase in existence.


Latinobarómetro is an annual public opinion survey that involves some 20,000 interviews in 18 Latin American countries, representing more than 600 million inhabitants.

Latinobarómetro Corporation researches the development of democracy and economies as well as societies, using indicators of opinion, attitudes, behaviour and values. Its results are used by social and political actors, international organizations, governments and the media.

The files are available in several formats for each year, and are labelled in either Spanish, the official language, or English.

National Institutes of Statistics in Latin America

The different National Institutes offer us data on:

Society: work and income, education, culture, health, living conditions, homes, use of technologies.

Economy: prices, GDP, industry, agricultural sector, construction, trade, services, balance of payments, national and international accounts, tourism.

Population: censuses, projections, migrations, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, gender, specific age groups.

Territory: georeferenced information, thematic maps, geographical codes, geostatistical units.

Statistical information is obtained through different collection methods:

National censuses: gather data on all the elements that make up the universe of study. These surveys also provide the sample framework for the surveys that during the inter-census periods measure the evolution of certain indicators.

Sampling surveys: collect data from representative samples of the study universe. The results are extended to the set by statistical inference procedures.

Registration statistics: are made from information from administrative records such as the Integrated Pension and Retirement System, the National Customs Administration (imported and exported goods), the Civil Registry (births, deaths and marriages), Migration and Ministry of Health, among others.

Argentina: Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC)

Census 2000:

Bolivia: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE)

Census 2001:



Brasil: Fundacao Instituto Brasileiro de Geografía e Estadística (IBGE)

Census 2000:

Chile: Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE)

Colombia: Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE)


Costa Rica: Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC)

Census 2000:


Cuba: Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE)

Ecuador: Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC)

Census 1990:

El Salvador: Dirección General de Estadística y Censos

Census 1992:

Guatemala: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE)


Census 1994:

Haití: Instituto de Estadística

Honduras: Dirección General de Estadística y Censos

México: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI)

Census 2000:


Nicaragua: Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC)

Census 1995:

Panamá: Dirección de Estadística y Censos



Paraguay: Dirección General de Estadística y Censos (DGEEC)

Census 1992:

Perú: Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI)

Census 2000:


República Dominicana: Oficina Nacional de Estadística

Census 1993:


Uruguay: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE)

Census 1996:

Venezuela: Oficina Central de Estadística e Informática (OCEI)

Census 2000:

Dirección General de Estadística y Censos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

The General Directorate of Statistics and Censuses, consistent with its commitment to service to the community, makes available to the general public information that allows us to know more about the City of Buenos Aires, its inhabitants and its economy.

The different thematic areas that are presented, organized in themes and subtopics, were designed and are produced and made available to users so that the data is used as an input of knowledge, research and planning. In the Data Bank, you can limit the searches of information through a Searcher.

Banco de datos ASEP/JDS

Over the years, ASEP/JDS has been archiving its survey data and has produced the necessary programs to make its Data Bank available for researchers, to be used in interactive mode on the internet. Finally, with support from the BBVA Foundation it has been possible to conclude a long process whose principal objective has been to offer an alternative to sociological investigation “on word of honour” (where data are not made available) by making survey datasets available to the research community.

ASEP carries out every month since 1986 a national survey on “Spaniards’ Public Opinion”, based on a sample of 1,200 respondents, representative of the Spanish population 18 years and over, that includes a fixed System of Indicators on economic, consumer, political and mass media attitudes and behaviour (that allows the accumulation of long time series), as well as opinions on the main current events (that allows the construction of an important historical archive on the variations of public opinion attitudes about a great variety of public issues). If you wish to see the evolution of the most relevant indicators in the last month, Monthly ASEP Graphic. In order to see the graphic you must have installed the Acrobat Reader.

ASEP, in collaboration with JDSystems, is a member of some of the main international comparative research projects in the social sciences, as the World Values Survey, the International Social Survey Program, the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, and the European Elections Study, as well as other groups interested in the methodology of social research and in data archives (Comparative Survey Design and Implementation, Network of Economic and Social Science Infrastructures in Europe, International Data Forum, etc.).

FedStats: Federal Government, USA

FedStats, which has been available to the public since 1997, provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capablilties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more, FedStats is your one location for access to the full breadth of Federal statistical information.

Some Principal Statistical Programs, such as labor force statistics and energy statistics, are carried out by agencies (the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Energy Information Administration, respectively) whose sole missions are statistical. In other cases, agencies have statistical programs that support their program planning and evaluation functions.

Data from the Federal Statistical System is available through APIs, Web, and Mobile Applications via our Showcase page.  For a listing of Data Sets from all Federal Agencies, please visit

USA: Bureau of the Census

The US Census Bureau has been based in Suitland, Md. Since 1942. The Census Bureau is part of the US Department of Economic and Financial Affairs and is overseen by the US Department of Economic and Statistics (ESA) within the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The Administration of Economy and Statistics provides a high quality economic analysis and promotes the missions of the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Census Bureau collects data on the economy and on people living in the United States from many different sources. Some data are collected directly from the respondents (including businesses), by the census and studies they conduct. They also collect additional data from other sources. Primary sources for additional data are local, federal, and state administrations as well as business entities. This type of data is generally called "administrative data".

The Census Bureau offers a wide variety of resources, much of it as micro-data for applied social research.

To explore new tools and data products developed by Census researchers, go here: Research Data Products

To learn more about the restricted use of available micro-data here: Microdata Restrictred-Use

Càtedra UNESCO de privacidad de datos

It is an agreement between UNESCO and an academic institution (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) for a renewable period of two years time (starting Mar. 6, 2007, and currently renewed until Mar. 22, 2011).

It must do research, training and dissemination in a field considered relevant by UNESCO for the welfare of humankind (data privacy).

You can consult their publications here.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace. 

Only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. 

Today, the ILO's Decent Work agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress. 

The World Bank

Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It is not a bank in the ordinary sense, but a unique society to reduce poverty and support development. The World Bank Group comprises five institutions managed by its member countries.

Sharing knowledge will be crucial to ending extreme poverty and giving the impetus to shared prosperity throughout the world. The Global Bank Group Global Practices brings together knowledge and experience in 14 sectors and 5 crosscutting areas. The aim is to help developing countries find solutions to the most resilient global and local development challenges - from adapting to climate change or increasing food security or increasing access to energy.

It has the Microdata Library that facilitates access to data collected through sample surveys of households, business establishments or other facilities. These 'microdata' sets may also originate from population, housing or agricultural censuses or through an administrative data collection processes. The Library contains supporting documentation from censuses and surveys conducted or supported by the World Bank, as well as by other international organizations, statistical agencies and other agencies in low and middle-income countries.

United Nations Statistics Division

The Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. They compile and disseminate statistical global information, develop standards and standards for statistical activities, and support the efforts of countries to strengthen their national statistical systems. They also facilitate the coordination of international statistical activities and support the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission as the apex of the global statistical system.

The main functions of the Statistics Division are: collection, processing and dissemination of statistical information; Standardization of statistical methods, classifications and definitions; The technical cooperation program; And the coordination of international statistical and activity programs.

To perform these functions:

- Provide a global data center on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment and demographic and social statistics drawn from national and international sources.

- Promote international standards of methods, classifications and definitions used by national agencies.

- Assist Member States, in their request, to improve their statistical services by providing them with advice and coordinating training in international statistical programs and activities entrusted to the Division by the United Nations Statistical Commission and the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities ).

- Provides entry and secretarial support to the United Nations Statistical Commission.

- Oversee progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the Interagency and Expert Group on MDG indicators and maintaining the global MDG indicators database.

- Promotes modern research and techniques as an instrument for growth and development.

The Division regularly publishes data updates, including the Statistical Yearbook and the Global Statistical Portfolio, and reports on statistics and statistical methods. The Division databases are also available on this site.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established in 1948 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a continent ravaged by war. By making individual governments recognise the interdependence of their economies, it paved the way for a new era of cooperation that was to change the face of Europe. Encouraged by its success and the prospect of carrying its work forward on a global stage, Canada and the US joined OEEC members in signing the new OECD Convention on 14 December 1960. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was officially born on 30 September 1961, when the Convention entered into force.

OECD uses its wealth of information on a broad range of topics to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability. We help ensure the environmental implications of economic and social development are taken into account.

OECD's work is based on continued monitoring of events in member countries as well as outside OECD area, and includes regular projections of short and medium-term economic developments. The OECD Secretariat collects and analyses data, after which committees discuss policy regarding this information, the Council makes decisions, and then governments implement recommendations.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944. The 44 countries at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation to avoid a repetition of the competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The IMF's responsibilities: The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.

The IMF publishes a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators. Manuals, guides, and other material on statistical practices at the IMF, in member countries, and of the statistical community at large are also available.

In particular, the data that can be downloaded relate to GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, balance of payments, exports, imports, external debt, capital flows and commodity prices.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is an official and reliable source of internationally comparable data on education, science, culture and communication. As the official statistical agency of UNESCO, UIS produces a wide range of indicators in the fields of UNESCO working with national statistical offices, online ministries and other statistical organizations.

They produce data for policy-making and investment needed to transform lives and propel the world towards its development goals.

The UIS also provides input and contributes to the analysis of UNESCO initiatives such as the Global Education Monitoring Report, the UNESCO Science Report and the UNESCO Report on Cultural Diversity.

Examples of global databases and key indexes that use the UIS as data source:

Sustainable Development Goal indicators (United Nations Statistical Division)

Millennium Development Goals Indicators (UNSD)

World Inequality Database on Education (Global Education Monitoring Report)

Human Development Index (UNDP)

EDStats database (World Bank)

Gender Inequality Index (UNDP)

UNData database (UNSD)

World Development Indicators (World Bank)

Global Innovation Index Report (INSEAD and WIPO)

Global Gender Gap (World Economic Forum)

ICT Development Index (ITU)

Ejemplos de informes globales que utilizan los datos del UIS:

Global Education Monitoring Report (UNESCO)

Human Development Report (UNDP)

Millennium Development Goals Report (UN DESA)

State of the World's Children (UNICEF)

World Development Report (World Bank)

Global Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum)

Global Gender Gap (World Economic Forum)

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) provides a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing barriers to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all. In this way it contributes to economic growth and development. The WTO also provides a legal and institutional framework for the implementation and monitoring of these agreements, as well as for the discussions that stem from their interpretation and use. The set of trade agreements comprising the WTO consists of 16 multilateral agreements (to which all WTO members belong) and two different plurilateral agreements (to which only a few WTO members belong).

Over the past 60 years, the WTO, which was established in 1995, and its predecessor organization the GATT, have helped to create a strong and prosperous international trading system, thus contributing to unprecedented global economic growth. The WTO currently has 164 members, of which 117 are developing countries or independent customs territories.

The WTO provides quantitative information on the economy and trade policies.

Its databases and publications provide access to data on trade flows, tariffs, non-tariff measures (NTMs) and trade in value added.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The GHO data repository is the gateway to World Health Organization (WHO) health statistics for its 194 Member States. This provides access to more than 1,000 indicators on priority health issues including mortality and disease burden, the Millennium Development Goals (child nutrition, child health, maternal and reproductive health, immunization, HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected diseases, water and sanitation), noncommunicable diseases and risk factors, epidemic diseases, health systems, environmental health, violence and injuries, and equity among others.

International Association for Oficial Statistics (IAOS)

IAOS is an association founded in 1985. It is an international non-governmental organization (NGO), which was created and developed as a specialized section of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). It is thus an Association of physical and legal persons who have scientific or professional interest in the field of official statistics. IAOS brings together producers and users of official statistics. It is run by an Executive Committee elected for a period of two years. The objectives of IAOS are:

  • to promote the understanding and advancement of official statistics and related subjects; and
  • to foster the development of effective and efficient official statistical services, particularly in developing countries, through international contacts among individuals and organizations, including users of official statistics as well as research institutions.

The International Statistical Institute (ISI)

The origins of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) can be traced back to a series of International Statistical Congresses, the first of which was convened by Adolphe Quetelet in 1853 in Brussels. The ISI was formally founded in 1885, during a meeting held to celebrate the Jubilee of the London Statistical Society. The initial 81 members were the elite of that era’s statisticians in government and academia. They established our first statutes, and our first half-century was a period of general stability.

The ISI family currently has over 5,000 members, and about 2,000 of these are elected members of the ISI. It is a flexible organization that includes special interest groups covering specific sub-disciplines that are not represented within the Associations and outreach committees aimed at collaborations with members from various regions of the world. The ISI network includes most of the national statistical offices around the world, and it also has links with international statistical organizations and selected professional societies. ISI has had consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1949, which allows us to participate in the annual UN Statistics Commission and other relevant UN activities.

Throughout its 128 years of history, the ISI has been a truly international organization that has been bringing together statisticians of all different specializations and from different parts of the world and promoting the understanding, development, and good practice of Statistics.

Varieties of Democracy (V-DEM)

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. It is a collaboration among more than 50 scholars worldwide which is co-hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, USA. 

Since 1900, in order to accurately conceptualize and measure democracy, the V-Dem project distinguishes between seven types of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, majority, consensual, deliberative and egalitarian.

Its main variables of study are: Components of periodic elections, judicial independence, direct democracy, and gender equality.

They also allow an online analysis.

The Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research (INSCR)

The Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research (INSCR) was established to coordinate and integrate information resources produced and used by the Center for Systemic Peace. It currently includes data from more than 160 countries.

Its main themes are: refugees, conflicts, political instability, the characteristics of the regime.

Micro-census data (IPUMS-I)

IPUMS-International is an effort to inventory, preserve, harmonize, and disseminate census microdata from around the world. The project has collected the world's largest archive of publicly available census samples.

Barro and Lee

Data files are well known and used within research on human capital and education systems. Includes data from 1950 and currently serves information from 146 countries.

Its main variables of work are: education, educational level, gender, age and years of schooling.

Interuniversity Consortium of Political and Social Research

It is an international consortium of more than 700 academic institutions and research centers and maintains a deposit of over 500,000 microdata and macro-data archives of social science research.

Its variables deal with issues as diverse as education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse or terrorism.

Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS)

Single dataset from 1970 with the common set of background variables and the total time employed per day in 41 activities. It includes data from HETUS, ATUS and other national projects.

Gender and Generational Programme (GGP)

The GGP is a Longitudinal Survey of 18-79 year olds in 19 countries that aims to improve our understanding of the various factors -including public policy and programme interventions - which affect the relationships between parents and children (generations) and between partners (gender).

The accompanying contextual database (CDB) holds data on: legal norms and regulations, social norms, measures of welfare state policies and institutions as well as general economic and cultural indicators.

Its main variables are: fertility, association, transition to adulthood, economic activity, rights and attitudes of care.

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)

They capture diverse experiences of democracy from the around globe. They assess their potential relevance across countries and regions to incorporate them into their expanding body of comparative knowledge on democracy. In the development of comparative knowledge, they explore the challenges to democratization posed by undemocratic regimes. They support and conduct research in areas that are highly relevant for policymaking or reform processes.

They seek to provide decision makers with accurate information on existing options and their likely implications.  They make comparative experiences available to actors across the political and institutional spectrum. This facilitates inclusive processes in which political will for change can emerge. This enables them to help actors to address challenges presented by trends that may adversely impact on and threaten democracy. Through this they are also able to better understand and capture how economic dynamics and technological change affect democracy. 

Their efforts to support democratic change build on their convening potential. They facilitate dialogue at the country, expert and international levels.

Human Development Reports (United Nations Development Programme) 

The aim of the Human Development Report is to stimulate policy debates at the global, regional and national levels on issues of relevance to human development. To be relevant, this exercise requires the highest standards of quality, consistency, transparency and accountability in relation to the data. Several steps are taken every year to ensure that the Report maintains its high quality and is reliable. These include partnership with many national and international statistical organizations, including selected members of the United Nations Statistical Commission. In this section you will find a wealth of information to help you understand how the data presented in the report's scoreboards is collected and how it should be used and interpreted.

In this section you will find all the sources of the data used and the contact details of the most important statistical organizations. These organizations often belong to the United Nations system and work on issues such as health (World Health Organization, WHO), education (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Culture, UNESCO), labor market statistics (International Labor Organization, ILO) and many others.

The Office for the Human Development Report (HDRO) also adopted a number of mechanisms to ensure that the published data are relevant and of high quality. In addition to the small team of qualified statisticians working in the Office, there is a Senior Statistical Adviser who oversees all statistical work of the Office. This group is composed of a select group of national and international professionals. The peer review process is carried out in conjunction with the most important regional and national statistical offices and with international organizations.

However, the statistics still have gaps in coverage and quality problems. There are problems of inconsistency and inconsistency between the international data series and the time of review of the data by the different organizations. International cooperation is addressing these shortcomings and the Office is actively involved in this process by highlighting these issues in the global report and seeking a solution with relevant agencies.

We also present selected texts on statistical methodology problems that serve as a theoretical context for the measurement of human development. These texts include a collection of complementary works from different editions of the Report highlighting important measurement problems, major international initiatives and innovative ways of measuring human development.

WageIndicator Project

The aim of the Project is to create more labour market transparency for the benefit of all employers, employees and workers worldwide by sharing and comparing information on wages, Labour Law and career.

WageIndicator started in The Netherlands. There, every worker consults the website at least once, but very often twice a year. One in five visitors is an employer. The Dutch WageIndicator is a brand. In the new WageIndicator countries like Uganda, Guinea, Burundi, Myanmar or South-Sudan the presence of the online library means: WageIndicator is the first to map wages.

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research.

It brings together pre-existing social science projects and coordinates research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual national studies.

The ISSP researchers especially concentrate on developing questions that are meaningful and relevant to all countries, and can be expressed in an equivalent manner in all relevant languages.

Comparative Studies of Electoral Systems (CSES)

The CSES is a collaborative program of research among election study teams from around the world. Participating countries and provinces include a common module of survey questions in their post-election studies. The resulting data are deposited along with voting, demographic, district and macro/electoral system variables. The studies are then merged into a single, free, public dataset for use in comparative study and cross-level analysis.

The research agenda, questionnaires, and study design are developed by an international committee of leading scholars of electoral politics, political science, and survey research. The design is then implemented in each country and province by their foremost social scientists.

Inter-American Development Bank

The SIMS (The Labor Markets and Social Security Information System) is the main source of information on labor markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. It contains comparable statistics, institutional information and academic publications about labor markets in IDB country members. This platform, thought as a tool for researchers and labor policymakers, aims to support development initiatives in the region by strengthening evidence-based policy design. The IDB Labor Markets Division (LMK) created the SIMS in 2015 as an open space for decision makers, labor-market experts, researchers, university students and key regional stakeholders who have a special interest in the areas of labor policy, skills development, employability and social security.

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