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*African Studies Research Guide: Statistics

Covers major background sources, databases and web sites related to African Studies


Find Data


Many of the sources listed earlier have statistical information but below are some specialized publications and links. Other data sources can be located in the Statistics Section of Africa South of the Sahara.

NOTE: There are quality issues with official African statistical information, e.g:

Poor numbers [electronic resource] : how we are misled by African development statistics and what to do about it / Morten Jerven. Cornell University Press, 2013.  HC800.J47 2013 Also online.


International Historical Statistics. Africa, Asia and Oceania 1750-2005. 5th ed. 2007. Ref. HA4675 .M553 2007

Most international organizations produce exensive statistics on Africa. Major titles include the United Nation's 

Demographic Yearbook, contains general tables including a world summary of selected demographic statistics, statistics on the size, distribution and trends in national populations, natality, foetal mortality, infant and maternal mortality, general mortality, nuptiality and divorce.

Statistical Yearbook  Ref. HA12.5 U63 Also available online. This is the most general of the United Nations statistical publications

For more, browse the UN Statistics Division. Most publications cited can be located in the library and many are also available online at the UN site. The UN's Economic Commission for Africa also produces important sources.


The World Bank is another important source statistical information. The Bank's  Africa Development Indicators is a major statistical source on Africa.

Proquest Statistical (formerly LexisNexis Statistical) provides access to statistics produced by federal agencies, states, and intergovernmental organizations. NOW includes Statistical Abstracts of the World is a collection of the statistical abstracts of approximately 40 countries (limited African listings).

International Population Census Publications: Africa.  Microfilm 4502. Consists of official census publications of a number of African countries taken from 1946-1967.  Printed guide available.


Other agency sites with important statistical information (watch for special statistical pages) to browse includ:

ADB - African Development Bank Group

FAO - United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
ILO - International Labor Organization
IMF - International Monetary Fund
OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

UNAIDS - United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNCTAD - United Nations Commission on Trade and Development
UNDP - United Nations Development Program
UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UNESCO - United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

WHO - World Health Organization
WPF - World Population Fund


Analyze Data


Electronic Data Center (Woodruff Library, Level 2)


The Electronic Data Center helps students and faculty locate numeric data and statistical information. We also help researchers manage, format, and prepare their data for statistical analysis. - The Homepage for the Electronic Data Center - The Data Freeway, a thematically-organized collection of links to on-line data sources. The sources here are often more specialized and niche-oriented than the resources included in this guide. - Here, you'll find help resources for working with particular data resources, such as the ICPSR. You'll also find various guides for and introductions to working with particular statistical software programs (SAS, SPSS, and Stata). - Yes, you do have to cite your data sources. This guide will help you figure out how to cite your data in a way that is informative and useful to others. - Data Center contact information and hours.


Other Specialized Resources:

Afrobarometer is an independent, nonpartisan research project that measures the social, political and economic atmosphere in Africa. Surveys are conducted in more than a dozen African countries and are repeated on a regular cycle. Because the instrument asks a standard set of questions, countries can be systematically compared. Trends in public attitudes are tracked over time. Data can be downloaded or analyzed online. Maintained by Michigan State University. Most Afrobarometer data is also available from the Emory Electronic Data Center. More info. Additional online analysis is available at ICPSR.

Social Conflict in Africa Database/SCAD (University of Texas, Austin) is a resource for conducting research and analysis on various forms of social and political unrest in Africa. It includes over 6,000 social conflict events across Africa from 1990 to 2009, including riots, strikes, protests, coups, and communal violence. SCAD does not include civil and interstate conflicts. Will be updated. See also the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. In addition to the Uppsala conflict database, this group puts out a number of important statistical publications dealing with armed conflict including SIPRI Yearbook(latest in Ref UA10A55)

Sub-Saharan Africa Religion Survey findings from more than 25,000 face-to-face interviews conducted on behalf of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in more than 60 languages or dialects in 19 sub-Saharan African nations from December 2008 to April 2009.

 Electronic Data Center: Selected Data Resources for ECON 366 (Development Issues in Africa)

Global Well Being Full Report (PDF; 190 KB) is classifies respondents as “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering,” according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.

Index of African Governance rates governance in 48 African countries by using statistics ranging from elections to refugees and human rights.

Africa Capacity Indicators: Capacity Development in Fragile States. Inaugual report publisheded in 2011. Intended to be an annual.

USAID CSO Sustainability Index for Africa. Started in 2009. Measures the sustainability of each country's CSO sector based on seven dimensions: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure, and public image


Geographic Information Services (GIS) available in Electronic Data Services, Woodruff Library, Level 2


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