The world

This page presents international historical data, mainly external links.


External links:

AHDS History
AHDS History collects, preserves and promotes the use of digital resources. Access is free but requires registration.

Bureau 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)

Data 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

EH.net (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)

European State Finance Database
An international project that publishes data on European state finances (including interest rates) from the Middle Ages to the present.


FXConverter - 164 Currency Converter
Presents daily exchange rates from 1990 onwards.

Global Financial Data
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.

Global Price and Income History Group
Publishes historical data on prices and incomes for the period before 1950, for example, you prices in Wroclaw 1507-1618, Copenhagen 1712-1800, Chile 1631-1830, Sydney 1850-1983 and Sweden 1732-1874.

Groningen Growth and Development Centre (Data Series)
Very informative data site presenting Dutch historical statistics, but also international data.

Historical Census Browser (University of Virginia Library)
Presents data on American census from 1790 to 1960.

Historical Estimates of World Population
The World Population from 10000 BC to 1950 AD according to different estimates.

Human Life Table Database

Human Mortality Database

IMF - World Economic Outlook Databases

International 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.

IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) International
The international counterpart to IPUMS. Presents population census data for a number of countries. Free, but requires registration..

Laborsta 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.

MEMBD - 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.

National 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.

Oxford 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.

Pacific Exchange Rate Service
Presents exchange rates from 1948 onwards.

Penn World Tables
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.

Political Database of the Americas
Historical data, eg on elections, in Americas.

Richard Unger (University of British Columbia) - Medieval and Early Economic History
Presents data on grain prices (click here) for the period 1260-1914 and beer prices (klick here) from the 14th to the 19th centuries.

Statistical Yearbooks of the League of Nations
This page contains the Yearbook of the League of Nations 1926-1944.

Steel statistic archive (worldsteel.org)
Presents monthly data on steel production in various countries from 1980 onwards.

The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development (tables)

The Marteau Early 18th-Century Currency Converter
Converts the currency of one country to the currency of another country for the early 18th century.

Time Series Data Library
This site presents over 800 times series covering different areas, eg population, production, crime, sales and tree rings.

United Nations (Statistical Databases)
Presents various data for countries of the world from the 1960s onwards.

USITC (United States International Trade Commission) Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb
Provides international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data for years 1989- present.

Various Data of Asian Historical Statistics Project
Historical data on Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Wages, 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.

World 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)

World 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.

Yahoo Finance
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 links:

Central bank websites
Links to central banks of the world.

Current Value of Old Money

Data on the Net


Financial Data Finder

Global Edge - Statistical Data Sources

Historical Statistics - Research Guide

International Institute of Social History (Prices and Wages)

Macroeconomic 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



Maddison, A., 1991: Dynamic Forces in Capitalist Development: A Long-Run Comparative View. Oxford University Press; New York.

Maddison, A., 1995: Monitoring the World Economy 1820-1992. OECD; Paris.

Maddison, A., 2001: The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective. OECD; Paris.

Maddison, A., 2003: The World Economy: Historical Statistics. OECD; Paris.