Search by category
The international portals to social surveys mentioned below give information on and access to a wide array of social survey data.
Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)
The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives is the major European umbrella organisation for a large number of social science data archives. Its website offers an overview of European and national data archives and provides access to data sets and metadata for a large number of countries and years via direct links. CESSDA provides large-scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences. It brings together social science data archives across Europe, with the aim of promoting the results of social science research and supporting national and international research and cooperation.
International Federation of Data Organizations (IFDO)
The International Federation of Data Organizations for Social Science is an international organisation representing data archive organisations in various parts of the world, especially in Europe and North America. Its website offers links to information on social science research, data archives and data files from countries all over the world.
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is an international consortium of more than 780 academic institutions and research organizations, which advances and expands social and behavioral research. ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. It hosts 21 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields. These data are provided for countries of all continents, with easy alphabetical search on the site. Furthermore, the archive provides a tool to define the desired relevant time period. Most data are available in SPSS, SAS, Stata, and ASCII without any access restrictions.
The Centre for Comparative European Survey Data (CCESD)
The Centre for Comparative European Survey Data specializes in cutting-edge developments at the interface of social science data and informatics. Its website offers data of hundreds of major British and European social surveys, with a span over 50 years. Facilities for online analysis of the surveys are provided, and CCESD-IS produces time-series results automatically.
Survey key word search engines
The international search engines below allow keyword search in the codebooks and/or questionnaires of a number of national and international social surveys.
CESSDA Data Portal
The Data Portal of the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives provides a seamless interface to datasets from 13 social science data archives across Europe. The data may be located in several ways: free text search, browse by topic, browse by keyword, and browse by data publisher.
Variable and Question Bank
Variable and Question Bank : Variable and Question Bank, previously known as 'The Question Bank' is a UK-based website designed to help users locate examples of specific survey research questions and see them in the context within which they have been used for data collection. 'The Question Bank' has joined the UK Data Service which led to its new version 'Variable and Question Bank'. It is intended to assist with the design of new survey questionnaires, the search for data for secondary analysis, and the teaching of survey research methods. Its emphasis is on UK surveys, but it also covers the "European Community Household Panel", and the "European Social Survey".
The links below give access to information gateways, which are websites that offer organised and searchable access to a wide variety of data resources and data types, which may include books, reports, studies, journals, institutions, events, indicators, etc.
Council for Employment, Income and Social Cohesion (CERC)
The Council for Employment, Income and Social Cohesion is a French database of books, reports and articles dealing with the topics of poverty, means-tested benefits, in-work benefits, minimum wage and return-to-work programmes. The available documents listed (mainly in French and in English) cover France, Europe, Northern America and other countries.
E-Library for Global Welfare
The E-Library for Global Welfare offers a searchable collection of online resources for international and comparative policy analysis, research and teaching. Its resources have a global coverage, and regard a wide array of topics including work and employment, social protection, social care, education, health, demography, trade and economy, migration, etc.
European Foundation (Eurofound)
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions is a European Union body set up to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe. Eurofound provides information, advice and expertise on working conditions and sustainable work, industrial relations, labour market change and quality and life and public services, to support the EU Institutions and bodies, Member States and Social Partners in shaping and implementing social and employment policies, as well as promoting social dialogue on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis
The MERIL portal gives access to an inventory of openly accessible research infrastructures (RIs) in Europe across all scientific domains, including the humanities and social sciences. It aims to be a useful resource for information commonly needed by researchers seeking access to an infrastructure and by policy-makers analyzing the current state of research infrastructure in Europe.
Observatoire Social Européen (OSE)
The European Social Observatory (OSE asbl) is a centre for research, study and other activities in the field of social policy and employment in Europe. It analyses the impact of European policies on the social sphere at national and European level. It formulates proposals, conducts research and produces training tools and backup for reflection on the social dimension of the European Union. Its website offers access to a range of relevant books, reports, events and studies.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA)
The Agency's website is a gateway to information on safety and health at work in European countries. It gives access to comparative and country studies, reports, thematic and sectoral analyses, news and events in the field of health and safety at work.
The European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO)
Since 1997 EIRO has collected, analysed and disseminated up-to-date information on key developments in industrial relations in Europe. Its website gives access to comparative and country studies, reports, thematic and sectoral analyses, news and events in the field of industrial relations. The information can be searched by country, sector, topic and date.
The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
The Observatory is a partnership that brings together different policy perspectives to identify what health systems and policies evidence Europe’s decision makers need. It offers health system descriptions, comparative health statistics
Global statistical databanks
The international statistical data archives and data banks mentioned below are not specifically European comparative, although often European countries are included. They do not necessarily focus mainly on work and welfare issues, instead, they usually offer data on a wide range of topics.
Gapminder is a non-profit foundation, which names itself a so-called “fact tank”, promoting a fact based worldview. Gapminder identifies systematic misconceptions about important global trends and proportions and uses reliable data to develop easy to understand teaching materials to rid people of their misconceptions. The data bank provides macro data concerning sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals across the globe. Data is shown in Trendalyzer software, which makes it possible for teachers and researchers to show their graphs in an enjoyable and interactive manner.
GenderStats is the gender statistics database of the World Bank. Its website provides 70 gender-sensitive macro level indicators, as well as country profiles that present country-level data. The data cover topics like human development, political participation, poverty, programmes and policies and socio-economic roles and access to economic resources. The data is accessible and downloadable for over 200 countries and cover the period 1960-present.
Human Development Reports (HDR)
The Human Development Reports produced yearly by the United Nations contain tables with quantitative indicators on human development in terms of human wealth and well-being for over 120 countries. The tables contain data on demographics, education, employment, health, gender, public spending and poverty, as well as on the UN's Human Development Index which is based on a series of indicators. Data are mainly available from 1992-2020, and subjects covered differ per year. The HDR-site offers advanced keyword search facilities.
KOF Index of Globalization
The KOF Index of Globalization measures the three main dimensions of globalisation: economic, social, and political. In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, an overall index of globalisation is calculated, as well as sub-indices referring to actual economic flows, economic restrictions, data on information flows, data on personal contact, and data on cultural proximity. The Indexes website offers the raw data, tables and graphs. Data are available on a yearly basis for 122 countries over the period 1970 - 2018. Data can be searched by index type, year, region, and country.
NationMaster is a statistics database which offers a large directory of variables for comparison purposes.
A wide range of economic and demographic indicators are available, across 300 industry verticals (agriculture, consumer goods, ICT, pharma…)
With NationMaster you can track thousands of statistics as and when they are released. The database is composed of data from trustworthy sources such as national statistic agencies, governments, international organizations... (UNDP, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNCTAD, WTO, World Bank, World Health Organization, OECD and many others). The data is not downloadable: facts and statistics are presented in tables, graphs and plots. NationMaster offers data only from the most recent year available in their database.
Penn World Table (PWT)
The Penn World Table is a worldwide data bank covering a large set of economic time series from a large number of countries all over the world. Its website contains statistical data about the economic circumstances in countries since 1950. The data is accessible at PWT, not downloadable. The countries, indicators and years can be selected on the website and the statistical data will be presented immediately. Comparisons can be made both between countries and over time.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)
The Data Centre of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics offers access to over 1000 types of indicators and raw data on education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication. The data are from more than 200 countries from Member States and international organisations and cover a period of 1970 to 2020. The databases can be queried by topic, year, region and country.
UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The UNECE Statistical Database contains time series data for 56 countries (geographical Europe, plus USA) and has two entries. The database contains information on Sustainable Development Goals, Population and Gender, Forestry, Country Profiles, Economy, Millenium Development Goals, Thematic Overviews and Transport. The time series cover different periods, but mostly range from 1990-present. The data is presented in Profiles, Rankings, Tables, Charts and Maps.
World Development Indicators (WDI)
The World Development Indicators reports produced yearly by the World Bank (first issue: 2007) contain tables with quantitative indicators for over 200 countries on issues like economy and trade, public spending, governance, health, population, and education. Underlying databases are searchable and accessible through the WDI website.
The UNdata website of the United Nations offers worlwide time series data on topics like employment, health, population, education, economy and trade, population, migration, energy, agriculture, environment, human development, information and communication technology and tourism. The databases contain comparable statistical data for more than 200 countries. The UNdata website offers an advanced search facility and regularly updated downloadable data. The website contains 32 databases and over 60 million records.
The World Factbook is a public information source developed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, originally prepared for US government officials. The World Factbook provides basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. The Fact Book runs from 1981 and is updated every two weeks. The site offers advanced search facilities and downloadable data.