Dec 30, 2009

The Freedom House Reports

This watchdog organization (defined as non-governmental – although it receives 66% of its budget from the U.S. government) publishes an annual report evaluating the degree of perceived democratic freedoms in each country. Freedom in the World 2009 Report measures “electoral democracies” (competitive, multiparty political system; universal adult suffrage; regularly contested elections; significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media). The Freedom of the Press 2009 Report assesses the editorial independence level of the press in every nation.

On line Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an online peer reviewed encyclopedia of philosophy. This source provides a dynamic and regularly updated encyclopedia, and it allows a quick view or different interpretations (and disagreements) on a specific topic. A similar source – although at a more introductory level – is the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy .

Gallup World View

The Gallup Organization conducts public opinion polls in more than 140 countries around the world. Its Web-based application explore fundamental topics nation by nation including: Economic conditions, Government and business, Healthcare and well-being, Infrastructure and education. In this case the access to the limited free version requires a registration (just your e-mail address).

Dec 28, 2009

World Values Survey

The World Values Survey measure the state of sociocultural, moral, religious, and political values of different countries around the world. It is the most comprehensive database in this field ( number of indicators, countries and the longitudinal depth). One of the many findings taken from WVS database, and very popular in the press, is the Perception of Happiness. Another well known result is the Inglehart-Welzel Map: countries are mapped following the two dimension "traditional vs. secular-rational" and "survival vs. self-expression".

Dec 23, 2009


The Eurobarometer is a exceptional instrument to follow public opinions and trends on a wide variety of issues relating to the EU. Its database since 1973 is one of the largest in the world. The Standard Eurobarometer survey, carried out each autumn and spring, is a cross-national longitudinal study, designed to compare and gauge trends within member states of the European Union. The Flash and Special Eurobarometer is carried out to investigate specific topics (Ex. the introduction of the Euro) and provides faster results.


NationMaster is an excellent tool for comparative data. It provides an easy access to sources such as the CIA World Factbook, UN, OECD, World Health Organization, UNESCO etc. All variables (with the possibility to visualize charts and graphs) are provided with methodological explanations and sources. NationMaster is fully integrated with Wikipedia.

Dec 19, 2009

OECD Factbook and StatLink

The OECD 2009 Factbook includes more countries and enables a comparison for many indicators between OECD Members and Brazil, Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa. For a deeper analysis you can also use the OECD’s StatLink, which allows links between various publications (print or e-book format). Here you will find also the underlying data in MS Excel spreadsheets.

CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook is available in the form of a website, updated every two weeks. Originally prepared for the use of U.S. government officials, it is utilized by researchers. It provides a summary of the demographics, geography, communications, government, economy, and military of 266 U.S. recognized countries. A Country Comparison page is available for a presorted lists of data.

Dec 11, 2009

The Prosperity Index

The “Legatum Prosperity Index ” is grounded on 79 variables, examined across 104 nations, with multiple sources (ex. WTO, World Development Indicators, GDP, World Bank, etc.). All the variables are grouped into 9 sub-indexes (averaged using equal weights). Sub-Indexes: Economic Fundamentals, Democratic Institutions, Health, Governance, Social Capital, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Education, Safety and Security, Personal Freedom. This index is a reliable and holistic way to see how things are going. Check out also the Prosperity Interactive World Map