Gaby Umbach

Knowledge raises awareness and is empowerment. For this reason we created GlobalStat: a public information tool for users around the world that will expand and evolve over time. It offers an incredible amount of statistical data free of charge from international sources for all 193 UN member states, from 1960 to present day, and presents them in a user-friendly way for each and every one of us to learn more about how we live, the freedoms we enjoy and the limitations we face in our globalised world.

Statistics play an increasingly vital role in many domains of our political and societal life. The astonishing proliferation of statistics and the widespread use of indicators as instruments to evaluate our societies increase the demand for reliable and publicly available statistical resources. This need for visibility and accessibility 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. Responding to this need, GlobalStat was launched in 2015 (Flyer LaunchPress Release LaunchPress Release OECD 5WF). It is a public information tool on data and statistics for users around the world. It facilitates the search for, access to and use of data collected from various international sources. Users can access a comprehensive collection of data in which indicators are disaggregated as far as possible (for example into different gender or age groups). Country level data is presented for the 193 UN countries and four former states federations. Time series include the longest available period and start in 1960 whenever possible. The website allows for multiple visualisations of data. Maps, tables, rankings, pearls and bar charts offer different graphical representations of the indicators chosen and of data comparison. GlobalStat also includes export functionalities that allow for data, metadata and graphics download. Its data collection process benefitted 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 partners include the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  

Major project activities include: 

  • GlobalStat contributes to a better understanding of the interrelations between human living conditions and globalisation trends. It presents data as diverse as income distribution, water resources, dwellings, migration, land use, food production, nutrition, or life expectancy that materialise this broad view on globalisation. It describes the ‘story’ behind every indicator, in order to help users understand the context of data and it offers access to the original source for further information.  
  • GlobalStat offers a structured menu for the data presented. Indicators are grouped in 12 thematic and three horizontal areas. Each thematic area is divided into sub-themes that include statistical data series. Horizontal areas offer insight into data on sustainable livelihood, national wealth, human well-being and quality of life.  
  • Metadata – that means information explaining the statistical data – is an integral part of GlobalStat. It is presented for every single indicator to better explain what the figures 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 source.  
  • GlobalStat’s offers transparency and accountability of data collection and aggregation methods 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 actively participates in the academic debate  [ZIP archive] about the use of data in politics and about evidence-informed policy-making. 

Team & Research Fellows