Useful and Available Data Sources

Basic Cross-Country Data

PPP (Purchasing Power Parity)-adjusted GDP

International Trade

Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign Aid

Institutions (Data on business regulations, corruption, rule of law, democracy)



  •  PovcalNet (World Bank’s estimates of poverty measures)


  •  Health and Nutrition: World Bank’s HNPStats
  •  Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) (Based on individual-level surveys in more than 75 countries and different time periods, some country-level data on demographic and health are available for free.)

Geography, Climate, and Environment

Other Cross-Country Data

  •  Rural Income Generating Activities: FAO RIGA Dataset (Cross-country data for income from farm and nonfarm activities in rural areas)
  •  Disaster: EM-DAT: International Disaster Database (the number of disasters such as floods and famines)
  •  Population: UN World Urbanization Prospects (including urban and rural population)
  • Social Capital: World Value Survey
  • Social Development: Indices of Social Development (including measures of trust)
  • Refegees: UNHCR Data

Data for Each Country

  •  Links to statistical agencies for many countries and international organizations (a site of Bureau of Labor Statistics, US)

World Bank’s Datasets

Household-level Data

  •  World Bank Living Standards Measurement Survey (household surveys in many countries. Available for research.)
  •  IFPRI data sets
  •  BREAD (Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development) links to data including household-level data
  •  GRIPS GCOE Program (GRIPS, National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies, in Tokyo has a number of excellent development economists, most notably Prof. Keijiro Otsuka. Their household-level data collected in some African countries are available upon request.)

Firm-level Data