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The Economics subject guide gives you access to useful library databases and trusted Web resources, relevant for researching many topics in economics or finance

Data. Statistics

There are numerous potential data resources in Economics, so please get in touch if you are not sure where to look!

Some of the main general sources are listed below. Links to more specialised data sources are provided by the geographical and topical tabs under More Resources.


Google Dataset Search is an easy to use site that covers millions of datasets across the social sciences, including Economics. Note that it includes subscription datasets as well as free ones. Check the library website to see if we have access to subscription datasets (ask me if unsure).

Our World in Data is a useful site for some topics, notably because it includes essays which provide context and background information about data for various research areas.

Other general portals that may be useful:

Portals which offer access to economic & financial data specifically include:

International Agencies

The major international agencies are also important sources of data, notably:

IMF Data
Much IMF data is also available through UKDS, and may be easier to download via that route.

Important datasets & publications from the IMF include:

Balance of Payment Statistics (BOPS) Database via IMF and via UKDS (1967-)
Financial soundness indicators Database via IMF (2008-) useful for Tier 1 capital data at country level (see also SNL database or Datastream for data at bank level) and other measures of financial stability
Global financial stability report Online (2002-). Continuation of: International capital markets 1984-2001 HG 3881.I6
Government finance statistics yearbook 1977-2005 HG 1.G6 and Online (2001-), and as Database via IMF or UKDS (1990-)
IMF Article IV reports - great source of up to date economic reports by country
International financial statistics 1950-1951, 1963-2011 HG 1.I7 and Database via IMF and via UKDS (1948-)
International financial statistics yearbook 1979-2010 HG 1.I71 and Online (2000-) 
World economic outlook 1981-2007 HC 59.W6 and Online (1998-), and Database via IMF and via UKDS (1980-) offers forecast data

As of 1 January 2020 all IMF publications are available through its portal IMF eLibrary

UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development)


National Accounts Main aggregates database from UN Data and UNSD  (time series data available from 1970 for all countries of the world).
For historical accounts data, see: Yearbook of national accounts statistics 1957-1981 HC 1.Y4  and National income statistics 1938-1947 HC 58 
Other longstanding flagship publications:
UN statistical yearbook 1931/32- HA 1.S7 and Online (1948-)  
World economic and social survey 1948-2006 (title varies) HC 59.A1 and Online (1948-) 

World Bank Open Data

Free access to time series data (1960-) for over 2000 indicators and 200+ countries, from the Bank's 70 datasets.

You can see a list of all the World Bank databases here

Flagship is the World Development Indicators database, but others include:

Country Policy & Institutional Assessment (CPIA)
Cross-Country Database on Fiscal Space - measures the ability of countries to service public debt (1990-2016)
Global Consumption Database
Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) - supported by the Gates Foundation, measures how people around the world manage their finances. Survey data at 3 year intervals, commencing 2011
Infrastructure Data - covers digital, energy, transport & finance
Microdata Library - comprising datasets from sample surveys of people in developing countries: their institutions, environment, communities, and economies; focusing on specific characteristics such as households, business enterprises, facilities, farms or even geographical areas such as villages or towns 
Wealth Accounting - supplements GDP based measures of economic development with measures taking into account climate change & environment, energy & mining, human & social capital. Annual data 1970-

General Sources

A key database is Datastream, which aggregates data from many sources. It is accessed through Refinitiv Workspace. Datastream is a Library subscription database, and is not available in the usual way through the library website. For further information & to request access to Refinitiv Workspace, please click here  
For useful support in using Datastream see the Refinitiv website and some of the links on the Finance subject guide

Other general data sources that are sometimes useful for various purposes:

Financial & Company Data

For details of the Library's financial and company databases, see the Finance Subject Guide

The most useful ones, with global coverage, are likely to be:
BankFocus (bank finances)
Bloomberg (only available from the Essex Business School trading floor)
Orbis (company accounts)
PI Filings Expert (company documents & filings)
WRDS (BoardEx for executive compensation & corporate governance; CRSP for historic US securities prices)

Mintel, Passport, EMIS (emerging markets) and Statista may be useful for consumer industries & markets. Mintel is mostly UK, the others have global coverage


Micro & Household Data

Economists can sometimes better investigate problems by using data at the micro level - individual or household data that is usually collected by survey. National statistical offices or national data archives can be good sources of this kind of data, for example UK Data Service in the UK. A few other general sources/portals are listed below