About the MacroDataGuide

The MacroDataGuide is a user’s guide to researchers and students worldwide in search of high quality data for social science research. It informs not only on which data are out there and where they can be found, it also provides a qualitative assessement of these resources.


The International Macro Data Resource portal originates from a report prepared for the European Social Survey (ESS) which examines the availability and comparability of extant sources of contextual statistics that may be of interest to users of ESS data.

This resource contains an assessment of the current availability and coverage of contextual data sources. While it originally was intended for users of European micro data (ESS users), the site will gradually expand its coverage and it is intended to be a guide to users looking for macro data for any country. Unfortunately, the availability of macrodata varies greatly from country to country, and developed countries are in general better covered than less developed countries.


The data sources vary greatly in focus and scope, and include general databases containing social and economic data, large, general datasets with a number of political variables, indicators and indices produced by non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, and datasets compiled by independent researchers.

The information provided in this site is collected from the various institutions’ and research projects’ websites. We have also consulted independent reviews of databases published in journals and working papers. In addition we have, in a few cases, made direct contact with the institutions or researchers maintaining the datasets.


While the ambition of the MacroDataGuide is to provide an overview of extensive amounts of datasets, we recognize that a near exhaustive overview of all available contextual datasets is impossible. Rather, we have sought to cover most of the major data collections, such as the databases maintained by Eurostat, the OECD and the World Bank. In addition, we have included a number of datasets from more specialised institutions and independent research projects. We welcome our users to inform us of datasets not yet covered.


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