Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union and collects a dizzying array statistical information on member states of the EU and other selected countries (e.g. non-EU OECD members, non-EU members in Eastern Europe). Much of their data are accessible on-line here and cover topics such as demographics, balances of payments, socio-economic indicators, and much data for sub-national regions within EU member states.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Macroeconomic and Financial Data
The IMF's data library covers topics such as investment flows, monetary aggregates, economic output, commodity prices, exchange rates, public finances, financial institutions and markets, and both public and private debt. The available databases include the Balance of Payments Statistics, the Direction of Trade Statistics, the Government Finance Statistics, and the International Financial Statistics.
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.
United Nations Commodity Statistics Trade Database (Comtrade)
The UN's Comtrade database is a good source for commodity-specific bilateral trade data. Users can create their own extracts of data for both value and quantity of trade using different industrial classification codes and download those extracts for later use. Comtrade now also includes data on trade in services. This resource is also available via Databases at Emory.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) maintains a database on FDI statistics, including flows, stocks, and participation in international investment-related agreements. It covers the years 1970 onward and allows users to download data into Microsoft Excel. UNCTAD's World Investment Reports are another useful source for FDI flows and stocks. UNCTAD's FDI data are part of a database on economic data more generally, including data on macroeconomic indicators, trade flows and trade restrictions, remittances, and commodity prices.
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. There are also multiple tools available for importing WDI data directly into programs such as R and Stata.
World Economics and Politics (WEP) Dataverse
The WEP Dataverse is a joint undertaking by scholars at the University of Southern California and at Princeton. The Dataverse "provides researchers the ability to download custom datasets with information about the political and economic characteristics of countries," such as data on trade flows and policies, financial openness, central bank indepedence, regime types and political institutions, and basic socio-economic indicators. Most of the data are by country-year, but some of the data are bilateral and between countries (e.g. alliances, trade agreements, and similarity of votes in the UN General Assembly). Documentation for the data is available at https://ncgg.princeton.edu/wep/download.html. See also the International Political Economy Data Resource, which is a precursor to the WEP Dataverse.
World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS)
WITS is a joint undertaking of UNCTAD, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization to integrate various databases on trade flows and trade restrictions. The WITS databases provide information on tariff schedules, non-tariff measures, and bilateral trade and tariff levels. Registration is required to use the WITS interface, but that registration is free of cost.
Comparative Political Data Sets (CPDS)
The CPDS include data on countries' governments and political institutions, such as the ideological leanings of governments, their party shares in legislatures, and the degree of centralization/fragmentation of institutions. The data also cover topics such as government spending and macroeconomic indicators. The geographic coverage focuses on higher-income and/or post-communist countries in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia. Please note the authors' 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.
Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA)
The CLEA is a project hosted by the University of Michigan's Center for Political Studies and is "a repository of detailed results - including votes received by each candidate/party, total votes cast, number of eligible voters, and seat figures where available - at a constituency level for the lower house legislative elections that have been conducted around the world."
Democratic Electoral Systems Around the World, 1946-2016
This collection compiled by Matthew Golder provides data for "some of the more important electoral institutions used in all legislative and presidential elections during democratic periods in 199 countries between 1946 (or independence) and 2000 (...) The dataset covers a wide range of institutional features including regime type, the electoral formula, the average and median district magnitude, the number of constituencies and upper tier seats, assembly size etc." The data were recently updated to provide coverage up through 2016. The data are also available via Golder's DataVerse.
European Elections Database (EED)
The EED, which is hosted by Norwegian Social Science Data Services, "publishes regional election results according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), level 1 to 3" for a selection of 35 European countries for 1990 onwards. Data are available for parliamentary, presidential, and European Parliament elections.
Manifesto Project Database
The Manifesto Project Database "provides the scientific community with parties’ policy positions derived from a content analysis of parties’ electoral manifestos. It covers over 1000 parties from 1945 until today in over 50 countries on five continents." The geographic coverage includes Western Europe, Central/Eastern Europe, the Americas, and other selected countries. The database provides access to both the text of party manifestos and data derived from those manifestos that code parties on issues such as welfare spending, state intervention in markets, globalization, gender equality, and European integration. There are also tools for using the data in R or in Stata.
National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy (NELDA)
The NELDA collection at Yale provide election-event-level data on the outcomes and characteristics of individual elections for national legislative and executive elections between 1960 and 2012. The data cover topics such as the presence of election monitors, measures of electoral manipulation, and whether there was any post-election violence.
ParlGov - Parliaments and Governments Database
"ParlGov is a data infrastructure for political science and contains information for all EU and most OECD democracies (37 countries). The database combines approximately 1500 parties, 920 elections (8400 results), and 1400 cabinets (3500 parties). "
Political Risk Services (PRS) Group Data
The Data Center's holdings include data resources from the PRS Group and other sources that measure "risk" in the form of political (in)stability and institutional quality (e.g. corruption, accountability, bureaucratic quality). Our data from the PRS Group are monthly and cover the years 1984-2019.
Quality of Government (QOG) Institute
The QOG Institute is hosted by members of the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University in Sweden and is devoted to "the causes, consequences and nature of 'good governance.'" The Institute has created four collections of data on governance: a broad collection of governance indicators that is global in coverage; a more narrow collection that focuses on social policy in wealthier countries; data from expert surveys on politicization and professionalization of public administration in individual countries, and a new data collection on perceptions of corruption in individual regions within EU members. The data are compiled from multiple sources, including the Polity Project, the Cingarelli-Richards Human Rights Data, Transparency International, Freedom House, various international organizations, and datasets produced by various academics. The QoG data are available in SPSS, Stata, and comma-delimited (.csv) formats.
Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)
V-Dem provides "a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond the simple presence of elections. The V-Dem project distinguishes between five high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian, and collects data to measure these principles." The data combine indicies and measures constructed by the V-Dem Project and data drawn from other sources and projects. Data are available back to 1900, and some countries/variables extend back to 1789.
Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED)
ACLED "is a disaggregated conflict collection, analysis and crisis mapping project. ACLED collects the dates, actors, types of violence, locations, and fatalities of all reported political violence and protest events across Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Political violence and protest includes events that occur within civil wars and periods of instability, public protest and regime breakdown."
Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS)
The CCAPS project, which is hosted by the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT-Austin, is devoted to the study of the relationship between climate change and international/internal stability on the African continent. The project has produced various data collections such as the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD), which provides event-level data on riots, coups, strikes, and other instances of social unrest, and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED), which provides event-level data on various types of armed conflict.
Cline Center Historical Phoenix Event Data
The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois has assembled that cover "the period 1945-2015 and includes several million events extracted from 14 million news stories." The data are coded for variable such as the nature and location of the event, the type of government response, and the number of fatalities involved. For post-2015 events data, see the Phoenix Real Time Event Data.
Computational Event Data System
The Computational Event Data System "uses automated coding of English-language news reports to generate political event data focusing on the Middle East, Balkans, and West Africa. These data are used in statistical early warning models to predict political change." The project's data collections consist of coded data on individual political events, including incidents of political violence. NOTE - events data files can be very large and often require some proficiency with database applications or statistical software.
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Data Collections
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), which is funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security, is devoted to " utilizing state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve the understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism." As part of its work, it has assembled data collections on topics such as individual terrorist events, the organizational behavior of ethnic groups in the Middle East and North Africa, profiles of individual perpetrators of terrorist events in the United States, public opinion in Muslim-majority countries, and profiles of individual terrorist organizations. START's Global Terrorism Database is an especially commonly-used data source. START's data collections are available via the START Terrorism Archive Dataverse.
Correlates of War (COW) Project
The Correlates of War Project is hosted at Penn State University and distributes a variety of datasets relevant for the study of inter- and intra-state conflict.
ETH Zurich International Conflict Research (ICR) Group Ethnic Power Relations
The ICR Group focuses on both inter- and intra-state conflict, with a particular focus on the roles of ethnic groups and inequality of access to political power in contributing to conflicts. As part of the group's research, it shares various data on ethnic groups and conflict, both via large datasets and via the GROWup portal for downloading data on ethnic groups along with other data on conflict and political violence. The data on ethnic groups are available at the group-year level and at the country-year level. See the Ethnic Power Relations site for more information.
Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project
The MAR Project is affiliated with the Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research (INSCR) and the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM at the University of Maryland. The project tracks the status of nearly 300 "politically-active communal groups" and the MAR data are used extensively by scholars of ethnic conflict. See https://cidcm.umd.edu/research/all-minorities-risk-project for updated work on the MAR project.
Paul Hensel's International Relations Data Site
This site is run by a professor at the University of North Texas and is a good source for data on international conflicts, economic relations, and organization.
The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP)
The Uppsala Conflict Data Program is run by scholars at Uppsala University in Sweden. Their catalog is a very comprehensive introduction to datasets and other resources pertaining to international and internal conflict. The UCDP also hosts a variety of data collections on political violence, primarily focusing on inter-state conflicts, intra-state conflicts, and terrorism. Among its collections are geo-referenced data on individual events of political violence. The program's various collections of data are freely available to download. See https://www.prio.org/Data/Armed-Conflict/UCDP-PRIO/ for earlier versions of the data.
The Afrobarometers are an ongoing series of surveys conducted amongst countries in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on topics such as civil society, government, and state-society relations. Data from the Afrobarometers are available from the project site and also via the ICPSR.
The European Union has been conducting Eurobarometers surveys with the European public since the early 1970's. The surveys measure attitudes toward economic, political, and social issues within EU member-states, with a focus on matters related to European integration. The Central Archive for Empirical Social Research is the primary archive for Eurobarometer survey data and also has a search engine for Eurobarometer codebooks and questionnaires that is very useful for identifying the topical contents of individual studies. Eurobarometers are also available via the ICPSR.
International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
The ISSP is an ongoing series of cross-national surveys focusing on social attitudes towards issues such as gender roles, national identity, and the role of government. The GESIS Data Archive is the primary data archive for ISSP data, including a search engine for ISSP codebooks and questionnaires.
The Latinobarómetro is an annual survey conducted amongst 18 countries in Latin America. The survey, which has been conducted since 1995, asks respondents about topics such as globalization, democratic governance and political institutions, "social capital," the environment, and gender issues.
World Values Surveys Series (WVS)
The WVS is a widely-cited series of international surveys conducted in a wide range of countries in which respondents are asked about their attitudes on various social, economic, and political topics such as trust in various institutions, views on ideal forms of government, and notions of identity and equality.