Skip to Main Content

Data Resources on the European Union

This guide is a collection of links to data resources relevant for studying the European Union.

Economic Data

Angus Maddison On-line
Angus Maddison an economics professor whose recent books - Monitoring the World Economy and The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective - are major works in the field of economic history. Dr. Maddison's site contains links both to excerpts from his books and to much of the data within them. (His books are also available via OECD iLibrary.)

Comparative Welfare States Data Set (CWSDS)
The CWSDS is a joint effort by comparative welfare-state scholars such as Evelyne Huber, Charles Ragin, John D. Stephens, and Duane Swank. The data cover 18 OECD countries from 1960 onwards and include many economic, political, and policy variables.

Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat collects statistical information from the member states of the EU. Much of their data are accessible on-line here. The EDC also has a DVD database with more extensive time-series coverage (see below).

Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC)
The GGDC is run by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. It offers a variety of downloadable datasets with economic data for both developed and developing countries (although the most detailed data are for developed countries). The data focus on various measures of economic output and productivity, at both national and sectoral level. Users can access the data here.

International Labour Organization
The ILO is the main international labor-rights advocacy group in the world and has brought together a variety of information about labor rights and working conditions internationally. You can access their databases directly at The LABORSTA database and the Key Indicators of the Labour Market are particularly useful as sources for labour market data.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) International Financial Statistics
The International Financial Statistics, which is part of the IMF's eLibrary of databases, is a standard source for macroeconomic data, with a focus on monetary and financial topics, both international and domestic. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory and via CD-ROM in the Data Center.

OECD iLibrary (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
The OECD iLibrary is an online interface that provides full-text access to OECD studies, periodicals, and dozens of statistical databases. The topical range of the iLibrary is considerable and covers areas such as agricultural policies, environmental indicators, social expenditures, labour markets, national accounts, foreign trade and FDI, and various industry-level data. While its focus is on wealthier developed countries, the iLibrary also includes OECD reports and publications on selected non-member countries such as the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory.

Penn World Tables
The Penn World Tables is a source for internationally-comparable macroeconomic data on economic output for the period 1950-2009. The most recent version of the PWT is available at An older version with coverage from 1950-1992 (and some variables not yet available in the newest version) can be found at

World Development Indicators (World Bank)
The World Development Indicators provide convenient access to hundreds indicators on over 200 countries and territories. Data are available annually from 1960 forward, with variation across countries and indicators. The database is part of the Bank's Data Catalog of statistical databases and other data collections. The WDI is also accessible via Databases at Emory and on CD-ROM in the Data Center.

Elections/Electoral Behavior, Governments, and Political Institutions

Budge, Keenan, and Woldendorp
Data on national election results and governing coalitions in post-WWII Western Europe, up to 1995. Please refer to the codebook in order to understand the Excel spreadsheet that contains the data.

Comparative Political Data Sets (CPDS)
The CPDS were produced by scholars at the University of Berne. They focus on OECD countries and on post-communist countries and contain much data on the structure of political institutions, as well as data on demographics, electoral results, and ideological compositions of governments. There are also variables for female participation in parliament. Please note the preferred citation format.

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems
This site contains data and documentation for a cross-national collection of election studies. The CSES combines microdata on respondents with data at different levels of geography (i.e. data on respondents' electoral districts and on the political institutions of their countries) and focuses on themes such as how macro-level variables such as electoral systems affect political attitudes.

Database of Political Institutions
This database was put together in part by Phillip Keefer at the World Bank and provides data on the political institutions and structures of different countries in the world from 1975 to 2009. Additional documentation are also available here. Please note the authors' preferred format for citing their data.

Elections in Western Europe Since 1815 (Emory's Data Center)
Emory's Electronic Data Center provides instant access to Daniel Caramani's detailed collection of European election results. Election results are available in a variety of different statistical formats for easy access and anlaysis.

Public Opinion and Survey Data

The European Union has been conducting the Eurobarometer series amongst the publics of EU member-states since the early 1970's. They provide a dynamic measure of European attitudes toward economic, political, and social attitudes within the European Union. The European Commission provides access to a wide variety of reports produced from the Eurobarometer series of studies. The primary data archive for the Eurobarometer series is the German Social Science Infrastructure Services (GESIS). GESIS also has a search engine for Eurobarometer codebooks and questionnaires that is very useful for identifying the topical contents of individual studies. Microdata for many Eurobarometers are also available from the ICPSR. The Data Center also has an extensive collection of Eurobarometers, including studies conducted in Central and Eastern European countries.

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
The ISSP is an ongoing effort devoted to cross-national research on social attitudes. In addition to asking general questions about attitudes towards various social issues, the ISSP series also includes special topic modules focusing on matters such as national idenitity, the role of government, social equality, and gender roles. The primary data archive for the ISSP is the German Social Science Infrastructure Services (GESIS). GESIS also has a search engine for ISSP codebooks and questionnaires that is very useful for identifying the topical contents of individual studies. The Data Center also has many ISSP data files available here.

World Values Survey Series
The World Values Survey is "a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientist at leading universities all around world. The survey is performed on nationally representative samples in almost 80 societies on all six inhabited continents." It is an excellent source for cross-national survey data and is a widely-referenced resource. The Data Center has data from four "waves" of the World Values Survey available here.