Researching a Country

General | Statistics | Business | Risk | News | Rankings | Travel | Global Insitutions | Government | Shopping | Networks | Views | Education


The following resources contain information, statistics, economic commentary and analysis that will help students understand the economies of other countries. Resources are arranged from simple to complex under each heading. At the top of the list are resources designed for use in secondary school while at the bottom are resources used by adults for finding out about other countries. Many adult resources can be used by school students. Students should also make use of travel commentaries and reports. These often impart an accurate picture of what life is like on the ground in another country and usually note any topical issues in the country you are researching. Examples of some of these issues may diseases and terrorist threats.

General Country Guides

The following resources provide general information about the countries of the world. The CIA world factbook is the model used by all of them, however a few less detailed resources have also been inlcuded.
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  • Yahooligans! - Around the World:Countries Resources This site has been developed by Yahoo for students and provides links to the CIA world fact book and other selected online resources for students.
  • UN CyberSchoolBus This site has been designed to provide basic information about the UN member states for students. The country at a glance section offers short descriptive information on member states, while the InfoNation section offers excellent comparative statistics on Member states including environmental statistics.
  • The Yahooligans Country ReferenceThis is a link to Yahoo's own reference collection for students based on the CIA world factbook and it covers country background and maps, geography population, government, economy, communications, transportation,military and transnational issues
  • InfoPlease Countries of the World InfoPlease is an online reference desk designed for secondary students. The world section of their website carries sections on economic and social statistics, geography and climate and abbreviated information on country background and government. It is a useful one stop shop for students.
  • National Geographic Homework Help Hub. This site is a student gateway to the resouurces offered by this magazine on the world's countries. It contains an excellent section on maps and climate among other things.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs offers excellent resources for students researching other countries. Their factsheets are a great starting point for students researching other economies.
  • CIA World Factbook This site is the mother of all country sites and the model for the rest of these sites on the Internet. The factbook can be downloaded to the users computer. It provides detailed information on the a countries, resources, industrial structure, geography and climate, politics and government and inlcudes map as well. This is a great resource for anyone interested in other economies and offers nearlyall the basic facts any student could ever need.
  • Ths site carries encyclopedia entries on the countries of the world covering the land, the economy, history people and government. It links into an E library where articles on recent topical issues relevant to a country a stored. Unfortunately while basic information is for free articles requirement payment.
  • The US Library of Congress Country Studies This site offers exhaustive coverage of a countries history, economy and trade etc. Students who are looking for in depth coverage of a country will find this a very usefu resource.
  • The US State Department The US State department also maintian an excellent set of resources describing each of the countries of the world except the department also links in reports on Human Rights abuses and links to significant country web sites.
  • The World Bank The world bank offers a great deal of economic material on the countries of the world and is especially good for emerging economies. Choose the country and Region section for news and updates on developments in your country.
  • International Business Resources on the Net A global directory of business resources with country information available. Offers short country profiles and an excellent section comparing the markets of many countries of the world by size, freedom and a range of other measures.
  • World Area Studies Internet Resources Worldwide portal of country resources aimed mainly at specialists in the subject.
  • Worldwide Virtual Library A monster directory of economic resources with an excellent section on economic development. More useful for teachers than for students.
  • The World Guide SBS SBS offers a great deal of general country information that students researching a foreign economy might find useful.
  • Countries of the World This site maintains current reports on the political and economic situation of all countries. Some of the information here is difficult however this site offers links to other web resources classified by country, online discussions of a specific countries issues and some country news.
  • Google Directory - Regional > Countries Google's directory of links of web sites actually from a particluar country is a useful way of locating current information about a country and identifying the attitudes of particular groups of people within a country to its problems.

World Economic Statistics

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  • World Bank Data Service The World Bank data query service allows users to search a selection of world development indicators online and download in spreadsheet format a wide range of comparative economc statistics. This is an absolutely marvellous service and students can download not only classic economic statistics but also statistics on internet connections, education and roads and mortality. Data Query The World Bank also allows users to download data profiles of countries and range of other data from its data service. These are very useful for students doing projects on other economies and include rich and poor countries. Country Data
  • UN InfoNation This service offers basic country profile data for students and allows students to compare countries. UN News UN News is an excellent source of current affairs for the world's countries. The UN maintains a large collection of economic databases inlcuding its Millenium Indicators, Economic and Social Statistics. These are not as accessible and user friendly as the world bank however teachers looking for statistics on the countries of the world will find them extremely useful. They cover a huge range of topics from GDP per capita, to housing health and water quality. Visit the UN statistical Database Section in the Social and Economic development directory of the UN Site.
  • Penn World Tables CHASS These are accesible through the CHASS centre at the University of Toronto and focus on National Accounts data. The benefit of the PENN tables is that they provide Time Series data for a selection of National Economic Indicators starting at 1950. | CHASS Collection of Databases | Direct Link to PENN TABLES
  • Reserve Bank of Australia. The statistics section of the RBA site offers a limited but current selection of economic indicators for the worlds major economies.
  • US Trade Data from the US Government Export portal This site provides a comprehensive selection of world economic statistics. Naturally enough the focus is on the United States.
  • UN Human Development Indicators The UN provides access to dated but still relevant information on human and economic development for most countries. The UN also offers access to wide range of its reports online however many of these are too difficult for secondary students. Students will find UN Youth Unit:Indicators a useful resources as it compares the economic circumstances of your people from around the globe.
  • Singapore Data Locator a world wide guide organised by region for finding statistics on the Internet. Useful for odd and hard to find statistics.
  • University of Auckland Data Locator a comprehensive listing of data and data sources covering the globe. Students will find this useful for really hard to find data. General country statistics used by students are easier to find and access at the world bank.

Business and Economic Surveys

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  • US Government Export Portal This is a fantastic site for people who wish to investigate the Economies of other countries. Teachers and students will find the Market Research section directly relevant to their enquiries. Current Economic Statistics and current economic issues are all documented in the commercial country studies at this site. The Export portal also offer excellent resources and links to new and emergig markets such as China and the NIS. Tariff Information for all the countries of the world is available as well. Marketing Research Information inlcuding the economic outlook. Please more than enough information for students is available in the Quick Reference section however you will need to register for more detailed reports. The Commercial guides are intended for actual business people and hence not all parts of then are easy for studets to understand.
  • Tradewatch Offers a database that allows users to search foreign economies by sector as well as current updates on trading and economic conditions in other countries. This is an excellent resource. Tradewatch also offers reports of Australia's trade successes. Many of these are useful classroom resources.
  • Austrade Country and Sector Database For economic students or business people the Austrade country and sector database is probably the best one stop shop available on the Internet. Use of this in conjunction with the Tradewatch database gives users access to all of the country information available from DFAT. Students who are not using the windows operating system may experience some difficulties with this database.
  • DFAT Economic Analytical Unit Many of DFAT's publications on trends in Australia's trade and new markets and opportunities can be downloaded from this site. They also provide breifings on Global issues such as the costs and benefits of terrorism that many teachers and students may find interesting.
  • WTO Trade Policy Reviews
  • International Business Forum Global Business Directory that offers link to national chambers of Commerce and Industry Associations
  • Global Economic Forum Here you cna download their global competitiveness rankings. Global Competitiveness...

Country Risk Analysis

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  • MarketWatch Market Watch section for the Export Finance Insurance Coporation site offers selected country risk reports. Over recent times these have been toned down. Careful inspection of some of these reports will produce examples of how kidnapping, murder and hghway robbery affect economic activity, investment and economic growth. Useful for illustrating the role of legal insitutions in supporting free markets.
  • OECD Country Risk Classification The OECD makes available its sovereign credit risk ratings in PDF format. Detailed information is only available to paying customers.
  • Transparency International | Transparency International Australia Transparency International reports on coruption worldwide. Its reports are useful for students investigating corruption, fraud, bribery and murder in other economies.
  • Standard and Poors Standard Poor's Sovereign credit ratings may be accessed from the Home page of their site. Choose credit risks and look sovereign credit ratings. Some news and analysis of changes in credit ratings is available for free however detailed analysis is only availbale forsubscribers.
  • Moody's Moodys offer sovereign credit and risk ratings for users who register at their site. detailed information however is only available to paying customers.
  • Fitch ratings a global risk analysis firm. the focus is on financial risk however reports of changes in Sovereign risk are also available online.
  • Cofactorating This company makes available some of its economic analysis on world markets for free. Useful for students to see what some economists actually do.
  • World markets Research Centre Little free data here but WMRC is one of the main suppliers of Economic market analysis to the world's insitutions. Some reports are available for free and teachers will find the material here quite interesting.

Global News Sites

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  • Economist Home | | Country Briefings The economist regularly makes available a wide range of business and economics focused stories for free on its website. A great resource for secondary students.
  • Yahoo! Yahoo News Yahoo maintains regional news networks for all the countries in which it operates. These provide current news for those countries and are an good source for today's news.
  • ABC News US Home | : Country Profiles ABS news country profiles and world comment is US focused and simpler than the Economist.
  • ABS News Australia The ABC website goes from strenght to strenght and is a good local source for world news.
  • BBC News Home | BBC NEWS | Country Profiles The BBC maintains excellent country profiles and is a great source for standard world news.
  • CNN World | CNN International CNN is aglobal news organisation and carries reports from correspondents from all over the world. Useful for current issues.
  • Le Monde English The famous French newspaper offer an European perspective on Global Issues.
  • Reuters News Global News service.
  • The PaperBoy This site offers links to the worlds online newspapers and students can use it to find the major dailys and hence current issues in the country they are studying.

Global Rankings

  • This site produces top 100 rankings for a wide range of international comparisions. Countries may be ranked on all key economic statistics, according to murders, generosity and life expectancy. The rankings are available in tables. charts and maps. A marvelous web site.
  • Your Nation-Rankings Site This site allows student to compare two countries accross a range of social and economic data.
  • Information about Countries & World Rankings allows comparisons to be made accross economic, technological, social and environmental criteria. The site produces a list of the top 20 according to each criteria.

Travel Sites and Travel warnings

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  • Yahoo Travel Yahoo travel organizes a raft of information about countries. Cost of accomodation and airfares, warnings and travel advice as well as news relevant to travels. Visitor perils are also covered here.
  • Offers similar information to Yahoo and contains as well travellers reports of time in a country. Some of these contain observations that allow students to get a notion of what life is like in the country the are studying.
  • DFAT Travel Advice Foreign Affairs provide relevant updates on dangers for travellers abroad. Warning about possible diseases, muggings, kidnappings and highway robbery give students an insight into some of the economic and social problems faced by some countries.
  • US Department of State Travel Advice This site carries warning on a wide range of matters for US travellers. It is well worth consulting in conjunction with Foreign Affairs in Australia.

Global Insitutions

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  • IMF The IMF maintains an individual page for each of its member countries. The material here is difficult but often the speeches and press releases of the IMF are useful for students and frequently contain extremely good material on the economies of various countries.
  • OECD The OECD charges for most of its material however summaries of its economic surveys and frequently key National Economic Indicators are made available on its web site for free. Some OECD press releases are useful for students as well.
  • WORLD Bank World Bank press releases are useful for students. Their materials on economic development are excellent however too difficult for most secondary students outside of the education sections specifically aimed at them.
  • UNCTAD The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development web site carries much material relevant to the understanding of other economies. Press releases are useful for some countries and the news section may be helpful for some inquiries. This site is more likely to be useful for teachers rather students.
  • United Nations The UN's cyber school bus is useful for students however press releases by the organisation are useful for students. Many sections of this website especially the statistic section are useful for teachers (SNA93) but generally too challenging for many students.
  • Bank for International Settlements This site covers world banking and monetary policy. The news section and press release section may be useful for some students. Generally however this site is extremely useful for teachers who wish to follow debates in global monetary policy and trends in international banking regulation. There is a great collection of banking and finance statistics here and the BIS publications section contains much material of interest to teachers.
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) -- Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean This site offers statistics and analysis on economic development and other matters in this region.
  • Asian Development Bank This is an excellent source for statistics and economic analysis on Asian and in particular tiger economies.
  • African Development Bank Useful site for statistics and analysis on African Economies.

Government Insitutions

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  • BIS Central Bank List The BIS maintains a list of URL's for the websites of the worlds central banks. For more adventurous students these sites often contain good current reports on economic conditions in a country. They also usually carry excellent collections of statistics on current economic performance.
  • Alta Plana: International Economics Gateway This site is a directory of the web sites of the world's governments and central banks. students may wish to visit the government pages of the country they are studying and this site will usually have a URL for it.

International Shopping

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Business Insitutions

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Alternative Perspectives on a countries Economy

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Educational Resources