About the Project

Statistical data...
...increase insight and knowledge. policy-making and evaluation.
...inform monitoring and measurement of progress.
...provide citizens with an independent source of information.

Statistics play a vital role in many domains of our political and societal life. As a consequence, the proliferation of statistics and the broad use of indicators as instruments to evaluate our societies increase the demand for reliable and publicly available statistical resources. Yet, the increased relevance of statistical data only slowly translates into a transparent visibility of statistics within the public domain. In order to close this gap, new tools are needed to improve the clarity and speed with which statistical data can be accessed in order to promote the use of these important independent sources of information within the wider public.

This need for visibility and accessibility of data is even more vital in the era of Globalisation, in which sources of information multiply at a speed that is hardly traceable by the individual. Within this process, not only the number of sources amplifies every day. Also the areas, issues and processes affected and affecting the individual do so. As a fundamental process impacting on most different aspects of our daily lives, globalisation constitutes a phenomenon that goes far beyond global economic interrelations and integration. Through dense inter-linkages it impacts on the personal, societal, social, cultural, political, economic and environmental spheres of human lives. This deep impact extends the need for information beyond political and economic data and puts knowledge on environmental, societal and cultural developments at the heart of the demand to know more about the sustainability of global interrelations.

GlobalStat takes up this need for publicly available information on developments in a globalised world. Accounting for the multi-dimensional and multi-level nature of globalisation, it presents data on a wide range of topics and from a broad range of international statistical resources. As a data gateway it offers statistical information on globalisation, sustainability and human development. Focusing on the economic, environmental, political, social, societal and cultural performance of nations in this way, GlobalStat supports a ‘beyond GDP perspective’ on globalisation and ultimately aims at informing about the way human beings live, the freedoms they enjoy and the limitations they face.

Presenting data as diverse as income distribution, energy consumption, water resources, dwellings, migration, land use, food production, nutrition, school enrolment or life expectancy materialises this broad view on globalisation and sustainable development. With this approach, GlobalStat contributes to a better understanding of the interrelations between human living conditions and globalisation trends: If, for instance, agricultural data is presented, GlobalStat not only provides data on economics of agriculture (agricultural exports and imports or production); it also displays information on land use (such as areas under organic farming) or relevant demographic aspects (for instance on the poverty gap at rural poverty line).

With this multi-faceted perspective, GlobalStat enables the user to develop interlinked views on different phenomena, to assess the performance of nation states over time, to gain insight into multi-dimensional policy challenges linked to globalisation, to interrelate processes of globalisation and human development, and to be informed about human well-being and the quality of life around the world.

GlobalStat indicators are grouped in 12 thematic and three horizontal areas. Each thematic area is divided into sub-themes that include a number of statistical data series. Horizontal areas offer insight into data on sustainable livelihood, national wealth, human well-being and quality of life.

GlobalStat’s website provides users with a comprehensive collection of data in which indicators are disaggregated as far as possible. Whenever possible, country level data is presented for 193 UN countries and for the longest period available, starting in 1960. Apart from statistical data, data on global trends is collected to highlight potential future paths.

With its ‘3-click to data’ approach, GlobalStat facilitates the search for, access to and use of data collected from various bodies. Additionally, the website allows for multiple data visualisations. Tables, rankings, bar and line charts offer different graphical representations of the data chosen. Filters by period (selection of years) and by groups (selecting countries, continents and/or other entities) are available for targeted in-depth analysis.

Metadata, that means information explaining the statistical data, is an integral part of GlobalStat. It is compiled and presented for every single indicator to better explain and understand what the figures exactly represent. Definitions of concepts, the methodology adopted by the original sources, the statistical operation to produce data, notes on data relevance, on specific years and countries are provided alongside the data table together with the original data and web source. In this way, GlobalStat makes every effort to accurately describe the ‘story’ behind the indicators, in order to help users understand the context and to access the original source for further information if desired.

GlobalStat also includes export functionalities that allow for data download in excel format or bar and line charts applying the filters outlined above. Moreover, also metadata is downloadable. Hence, users can access the complete information collected and standardised by GlobalStat – data and metadata – in the format of their choice. Alternatively, the full data table is available for download.

Transparency and accountability of GlobalStat’s data collection and aggregation methods are essential in order to make data easy to use, understand and compare. Therefore, a comprehensive Methodological Guide provides a full explanation of the statistical methods applied by GlobalStat.

GlobalStat’s data collection process benefits from the collaboration with many international experts who, on behalf of their institutions, cooperate with GlobalStat. More than 80 international institutions and entities contribute to GlobalStat, underlining their commitment to disseminate their information to the wider public. GlobalStat’s collaboration partners include among many others Eurostat, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Fund for Peace, the Legatum Institute, the International Labour Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Sustainable Society Foundation, Transparency International, the United Nations and the World Bank.

Within an intensive development and outreach phase, GlobalStat has diversified its data visualisation portfolio and tools. It has established and intensified collaboration with the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) on various thematic topics now offering tailored infographic products and the best available gateway to statistical data also to Members of European Parliament, their staff, and the staff of EP Committees. GlobalStat and the EPRS are working closely together to enhance access to statistical information on the European Union (EU) and its global partners through the new EPRS-GlobalStat data visualisation series At A Glance, with updated indicators in tabular and graphical formats and systematic comparisons of the EU and its Member States with other countries and communities all over the world.

With its particular approach, features and characteristics, GlobalStat brings together the expertise of the European University Institute's Global Governance Programme and the Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos. It strongly benefits from the broad range of the EUI-GGP’s global governance research and the FFMS’s widely recognised experience with online statistical databases, namely PORDATA, POP and Conhecer a crise.

GlobalStat is a public information tool for users around the world. It expands and evolves over time. All data and metadata are accessible free of charge for personal information purposes and research.

Gaby Umbach

Founding Director of GlobalStat

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