Portal for Historical Statistics
Editor: Rodney Edvinsson, associate professor in economic history, Stockholm University, and Pro Futura Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.
How much could 10 french franc in 1898 buy in today's rupees? What was the worth of 1 billion German mark in 1923 or 1000 Polish zloty in 1980? Was an annual wage of 25 pounds per year in 1780 much compared to the wage rates at the time? To answer these questions click on the Historical currency converter.
This paper argues for trans-historical reformulations of the basic economic concepts of production, work and consumption. Important issues concern how to deal with violence, double counting of transaction costs, human capital formation, non-market activities and causation of final consumption. Production, work and consumption are defined as relations between events, the subject matter and the agent. Eight different definitions of GDP are presented.
The Swedish Riksbank, the world's oldest central bank, publishes a database Historical monetary and financial statistics for Sweden. The database is documented in two books:
Volume I: Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277-2008 [Link]
Volume II: House Prices, Stock Returns, National Accounts, and the Riksbank Balance Sheet, 1620–2012 [Link]
Project coordinators are Rodney Edvinsson and Daniel Waldenström. For more information see Questions and contacts.
national accounts for Sweden 1800-2000 (excel file)
Includes data series of GDP, value added, investment, consumption, foreign trade, stocks of produced assets and consumption of produced assets for the period 1800-2000; employment, wages, labour income of self-employed and gross surplus for the period 1850-2000; and hours worked for the period 1950-2000. Data collected by Rodney Edvinsson.
Gross output, gross value added and intermediate consumption in 9 manufacturing branches in current prices in Sweden 1800-2000 (excel file)
Gross output, gross value added and intermediate consumption in agriculture, forestry and fishing in current prices in Sweden 1800-2000 (excel file)
The population in Sweden within present borders 4000 BC-2004 AD (html-file)
A business cycle chronology for Sweden (html-file)
Annual GDP growth in Sweden 1720-2000 (html-file)
GDP per capita in Sweden 1720-2000 in the reference prices of year 2000 (html-file)
The ratio of import and export to GDP in Sweden 1800-2000 (html-file)
1 Swedish crown in 1800-2000 in the value of the Swedish crown of year 2000 (html-file)
A price index for Sweden 1800-2000 (1900=100) (html-file)
The ratio of self-employed to all employed in Sweden in 1850-2000 (html-file)
The share of manufacturing in total employment in Sweden in 1850-2000 (html-file)
The net stock of buildings in Sweden in 1800-2001 in the reference prices of year 2000 (html-file)
The profit rate in Swedish manufacturing in 1850-2000 (html-file)
The British pound in Swedish crowns/riksdalers in 1858-2005 (annual average) (html-file)
The US dollar in Swedish crowns/riksdalers in 1858-2005 (annual average) (html-file)
Money supply (M3), income velocity of money, GDP and price index for Sweden 1965-2004 (html-file)
The Swedish Riksbank discount rate in 1856-2002 och reference rate in 2002-2004 (html-file)
AHDS History collects, preserves and promotes the use of digital resources. Access is free but requires registration.
of Economic Analysis
Presents historical series mainly of GDP, balance of payment, prices, profit and fixed assets for USA, but also for other countries.
Current World Population (Ibiblio)
Danish Price History
Danish Economic History
hub "Heights and Biological Standard of Living"
The International Economic History Association has taken the initiative to set up a network of scholars working with data on heights and the biological standard of living and establish a moderated list of datafiles of historical heights.
Digital South Asia Library
Dutch National Accounts 1800-1913
(European Economic History Services)
Supported by Economic History Association, and contains economic-historical data for various countries, mainly Britain and USA, for example gold prices 1257-2001, global financial data 1880-1913, interest rates in USA and UK 1790-2001, the purchasing power of the British pound 1264-2004, the purchasing power of the US dollar 1665-2003, and the exchange rate between dollar and pound 1791-2004.
European Central Bank (Statistics)
State Finance Database
An international project that publishes data on European state finances (including interest rates) from the Middle Ages to the present.
- 164 Currency Converter
Presents daily exchange rates from 1990 onwards.
Presents historical financial data (eg exchange rates, stock prices and interest rates) for over 200 countries, some of the series back to the 17th century. The data is not free, and a personal subscription costs 8000 dollars. However, the description of the sources is free.
Price and Income History Group
Publishes historical data on prices and incomes for the period before 1950, for example, prices in Wroclaw 1507-1618, Copenhagen 1712-1800, Chile 1631-1830, Sydney 1850-1983 and Sweden 1732-1874.
Growth and Development Centre (Data Series)
Very informative data site presenting Dutch historical statistics, but also international data.
Census Browser (University of Virginia Library)
Presents data on American census from 1790 to 1960.
Estimates of World Population
The World Population from 10000 BC to 1950 AD according to different estimates.
Monetary Statistics (Norges bank)
Presents historical monetary statistics for Norway, for example, a consumer price index (back to 1516), house prices, GDP, money supply, interest rates, exchange rates and a stock exchange index.
Sample of the Netherlands
Offers a representative sample of about 80000 people born in the Netherlands during the period 1812-1922.
Historical Statistics of Canada
Historical Statistics of Japan
Historical Statistics of the United States
HNAG Database of Irish Historical Statistics
Human Life Table Database
Human Mortality Database
IMF - World Economic Outlook Databases
Institute of Social History (Prices and Wages)
Presents historical data on prices and wages for a number of countries, for example, wheat prices in Babylonia 385 BC - 61 BC, wheat prices in Tuscany 1260-1860, prices and wages in Istanbul 1469-1914, and prices and wages in Stockholm 1539-1620.
(Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, University of Minnesota)
Presents data on American censuses from 1850 to 1990.
(Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) International
The international counterpart to IPUMS. Presents population census data for a number of countries. Free, but requires registration..
internet (International Labour Office database on labour statistics)
The database of International Labour Office (ILO). Presents data on unemployment, employment, worked hours, wages, consumer price indices, work accidents, strikes and lockout from the late 1960s to the present.
- Medieval and Early Modern Databank
The ambition of this site is to cover the whole period 800-1815 AD. Presents historical data on prices and exchange rates.
Agricultural Statistics Service (Historical Data)
Presents agricultural statistics on USA and Puerto Rico.
NBER - Macroeconomic Database
OECD publishes statistical data on the OECD countries. However, most data series don't cover the period before 1970.
Latin American Historical Database
Contains statistical series for a wide range of social and economic indicators for a number of Latin American countries, covering the period 1900-2000.
Exchange Rate Service
Presents exchange rates from 1948 onwards.
Presents data on population, GDP, GDP per capita, price levels, investment shares, consumption shares and savings for 168 countries covering the period 1950-2000. No data is presented for the period before 1950.
Database of the Americas
Historical data, eg on elections, in Americas.
Unger (University of British Columbia) - Medieval and Early Economic
Presents data on grain prices (click here) for the period 1260-1914 and beer prices (klick here) from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
State and Handicrafts in Peking, 1700-1900
Yearbooks of the League of Nations
This page contains the Yearbook of the League of Nations 1926-1944.
statistic archive (worldsteel.org)
Presents monthly data on steel production in various countries from 1980 onwards.
The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development (tables)
Marteau Early 18th-Century Currency Converter
Converts the currency of one country to the currency of another country for the early 18th century.
The United Provinces, 1579-1806
Series Data Library
This site presents over 800 times series covering different areas, eg population, production, crime, sales and tree rings.
Nations (Statistical Databases)
Presents various data for countries of the world from the 1960s onwards.
(United States International Trade Commission) Interactive Tariff and
Provides international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data for years 1989- present.
Data of Asian Historical Statistics Project
Historical data on Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Prices & Living Standards: The World Historical Perspective
Presents data on silver wages, real wages and consumer price indices in various European cities covering the period 1260-1913.
Bank (Quick query)
Very informative database. For the period 1960 onwards, you can get data for the countries of the world on, for example, interest rates, the number of tractors, arms export, cereal production, CO2 emissions, crime, electricity production, export, GDP, interest rates, literacy, mortality rate, patent applications, school enrollment, taxes and unemployment. It is also possible to get aggregated data for the world as a whole.
World GDP and population 1000000 BC-2000 AD (Kremer data)
Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2003 AD (Angus Maddison)
Contains economic data on population, GDP and GDP per capita for a number of countries from 1 to 2003 AD. However, Maddison's figures on Swedish GDP and GDP per capita for the period prior to the First World War are based on series that are outdated and have been shown to give exaggerated figures of the GDP per capita in Sweden during the 19th century.
Presents historical stock prices from 1960s onwards. This is a link to the price of General Electric Co. To get other stock prices you need the ticker symbol, which is available here.
Links to central banks of the world.
Current Value of Old Money
Financial Data Finder
Global Edge - Statistical Data Sources
Historical Statistics - Research Guide
International Institute of Social History (Prices and Wages)
Time Series Data Source Locator
A very useful interactive resource. Write period (from 1688 onwards), region and type of time series (eg national accounts, interest rates, employment/unemployment, money supply, population or exchange rates) and get literature or web site where this of information is available.
OFFSTATS - Official Statistics on the Web
Statistics Sweden - Links to statistical sources around the world
Virtual Library Economic and Business History
Lund University Macroeconomic and Demographic Database (LU - MADD)
SVAR - The National Archives