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Country Information: Overall Country Descriptions

Guide to find information resources on countries - main focus on quantitative and statistical sources

Country Information - list of relevant databases via CBS Library

Overall Country Descriptions - Internet resources

World Bank:

Contains tables and data on the social and economic development of countries and regions in the world. You can find data on more than 200 countries and more than 40 regions.
Search hint: by the menu item "By Country" it is possible to define data for a particular country


You can choose among more than 75 Databases covering different aspects of the development of countries and regions. The amount of Series (data variables) differ from database to database.



UN Data - a world of information

Access to more than 30 databases covering topics as

  • population
  • national accounts
  • education
  • labour market
  • price and production indices
  • international merchandise trade
  • energy
  • crime gender
  • nutrition and health
  • science and technology
  • finance and environment
  • communication
  • tourism and transport
  • development assistance


GlobalEDGE Country Insights:
is a web portal to country information and statistics.
In their own words: "Global Insights provides international business and trade information on over 200 countries, the 50 U.S. states, as well as nearly two dozen industry sectors, and many of the world’s trade blocs. Use the drop-down boxes below to find the country, state, industry, or trade bloc you desire."

  • Insights by Country: statistical data for nearly every country around the world and in addition historical, economic, and political conditions are available
  • Insights by Trade Bloc: statistics, historical information, and resources pertaining to the world's largest trade blocs
  • Insights by Economic Classifications: entry by emerging, mature or frontier markets
  • Insights by Industry: source to find international business-related resources, statistics, risk assessments, and events for 20 distinct industry sectors.
  • Insights by US State: business and trade information on all 50 U.S. states


Global Competitiveness Report:
The Global Competitiveness Report 2019 (published by World Economic Forum) assesses the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. 

BBC Monitoring Country Profiles:
Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. Besides updated news stories they also include audio and video clips from BBC archives.

CIA World Fact Book:
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities

Background Notes  (U.S. Department of State):
"Background Notes", prepared by the US Department of Foreign Affairs, contain general descriptions of countries

Population Resource Bureau:
demographic data on country, regional and world level

Literature from CBS Library on country issues

Overall Country Descriptions - through CBS Databases

EIU - The Economist Intelligence Unit:
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) provides detailed coverage of political, economic, and commercial developments worldwide.
Through CBS Databases you have access to the following products from EIU:

  • Country Reports (1996 - d.d.): contains reports of more than 190 countries with analyzes of economic, political, industrial and foreign issues. They are published 4 times a year - and from time to timesupplemented with short updates ("Updater").
  • Global Forecasting Service (no archive function): Continuously forecasts (Forecasts) in Economy (World, Regions and Countries), Commodities, World Trade, Exchange Rates and Global Risk

    By using these reports you can achieve a good political and economic survey of the individual countries. However, it is not possible to search across the reports and through that compile data and numbers from more countries at a time.
    The document format is HTML and PDF


Menu items in EIU:




  • Country: access to reports
  • Industry: access to articles on the industries - but no access to reports
  • Risk: access to articles on risk assessments - but no access to reports
  • Data: no access to this menu item


Business Source Complete:

In this database you can find country reports from vendors such as IHS Markit, Country Watch, MarketLine and BMI, Business Monitor International. Some of these reports include even more political and cultural content than the EIU reports. And you have access to Country Risk Reports from BMI

Search hint:
Search by country and delimit search result to Country Report in the Source Types.
Subsequently, you can choose to limit you search even further through Publication: Country Report (from EIU), Political Risk Yearbook, Country Review, Background Notes on Countries of the World, OECD Economic Surveys, etc. 

Or select Advanced search, search for country name in the Title field, chronologically defined for the last couple
of years in the Published Date field and select Country Report in the Publication Type field.

A third way to search reports is by delimiting the vendor name in the Company Entity field under Advanced Search:


Basic information on 110 countries, as well as economic and political information, macroeconomic, demographic and social data (PESTLE analysis). The statistical information consists of figures for the last 5-10 years as well as forecasts. The country reports are all organized according to a PESTLE template. The reports are 60-100 pages with annual updates.
PESTLE: P = Political; E = Economic; S = Social; T = Technological; L = legal; E = Environmental.

Search hint:
Select the menu item "Geographies" on the front page and browse for the desired country or use the search function and limit the search to "Countries".


Access to the OECD's extensive collection of publications and statistics.

Search hint:
On the front page, you can browse country by country by using menu item "Country". Under the menu item "Statistics" there is access to "Country Tables" in a number of fields. Likewise, there are access to "OECD Economic Outlook" and "OECD Economic Surveys", where you can find comprehensive descriptions of more than 35 countries. Eg. "OECD Economic Surveys" are available in digital format from 1961 and forwards.


Eurostat - the EU official statistics office - collects statistics from the 27 countries of the EU and the candidate countries. The database is divided into 9 topic areas and also gives access to publications with comparable figures for all EU and candidate countries. Statistics Explained gives a good introduction to the Eurostat database.