Economics information resources: Facts & data

Quick facts

RFE (Resources for Economists on the Internet): Sponsored by the American Economic Association, this guide provides access to data sources, along with many other resources such as dictionaries, economics forums, employment advice, and conference listings.


The Library has many statistical yearbooks for countries, regions, and international organizations. Search the catalogue using the keywords "statistical (yearbook or abstract)" and the country, region, or organization name, e.g., "statistical (yearbook or abstract) Latin America."

Here are a few general sources:


The place to start for current BC socio-economic statistics, including quick facts and historical tables. Note that SFU researchers have access to several key BC Stats publications online.

British Columbia Economic Accounts
A statistical picture of the BC economy on a national accounts basis. For archived data from 1961 onward, see these data sets available via our ABACUS database.

Time series of Canadian data on national accounts, financial institutions, corporate finance, government, population, labour, prices, construction, investment, trade, travel, and industry. Note: SFU researchers also have access to current and historical versions of CANSIM via UToronto's CHASS server.

Statistics Canada
Provides current and historical Canadian socio-economic statistics as well as descriptions of Statistics Canada's products and services. 

United States

FCSM - Data Services
The [U.S.] Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this list of some key US government sources of statistics and information.  Also see, the home of the US Government's open data.

US Bureau of the Census
Locate a wide range of detailed US demographic and socio-economic statistics based on the US Census and other surveys.

Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1879-2012
Also available in print at the SFU Library [HA 202 A2 or HA 202 A21]. The Statistical Abstract compiles statistics drawn from the US Census, Current Population Surveys and other sources, both governmental and private. The Statistical Abstract provides detailed source notes so you can locate the original source from which the tables are composed. While largely federal in nature, there are many relevant state-level tables. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find links to supplements to the Statistical Abstract dealing with sub-national (state, county, and city) data.

Historical Statistics of the United States (Millennial Edition covering Colonial Times to 2000)
Topics ranging from migration and health to crime and the Confederate States of America are each placed in historical context by a recognized expert in the field. This fully searchable database will permit users to graph individual tables and create customized tables and spreadsheets reflecting their own particular areas of interest.

General and world-wide

Europa World

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
A central repository and dissemination service for machine-readable social science data. The Archive receives, processes, and distributes data on social phenomena occurring in over 130 countries

OECD iLibrary
To access OECD statistics, click on the Statistics tab and browse the databases and indicators available from the OECD. 

Statistics portal that integrates statistics from thousands of sources on topics related to business, media, public policy, health and others. 

Thomson Reuters Eikon + Datastream
Provides access to detailed international company, commodity, and economic data. Please note: access is limited to in-library use and this database can take some time to learn to use effectively. More details

UNdata - United Nations Statistics Division
UNdata provides selected series from over 35 specialized international data sources for all available countries and areas.

World DataBank
Easy access to several key international data sets such as Gender Stats, Education Statistics, World Development Indicators, and Health, Nutrition, and Population Statistics.

Historical sources of international statistics

  • International historical statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-2000 [print]
  • International historical statistics: Europe, 1750-2000 [print]
  • International historical statistics: the Americas, 1750-2000 -- Provides information about each country in the world in a standardized format. Brief statistical information [print]
  • Index to international statistics: IIS - Guide to older statistical publications of international intergovernmental organizations [print]
  • Statistics sources. Volume from 1984-2009 -- This comprehensive guide to statistics from around the world can be a good place to identify sources of older data [print]