5 Best websites to download Economics Data for Research (Free)

Best Economics Data sources to download data for free

Are you working on an economics research paper, thesis, or assignment and don’t know where to find data? This article will provide you with the best and most commonly used data sources for economics research. Let’s Begin!

1- FRED Database

FRED stands for Federal Reserve Economic Data. The site tracks over 815,000 US and International time series from 107 different sources. Some of the sources include national, international, public, and private authorities. FRED was created and maintained by the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Website allows users to search for diverse macroeconomics data and select diverse data frequencies (when available). The site provides the option to download the data ( for free) and allows different download formats. Visit the Website by clicking here.

2- World Bank – DataBank

World Bank Database is a comprehensive data bank, where you will find data on different indicators. Not only macroeconomics data (such as GDP, inflation, interest rates, etc.) but also data about energy, climate change, education, gender statistics, Health and Nutrition, Contamination, Covid-19, and more! The source is free and allows individuals to download data in diverse formats. Visit the website by clicking here.

3 – International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) website provides time-series data on several economic variables such as GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, payments balances, exports, imports, external debt, capital flows, commodity prices, and more. The site also provides data on financial statistics, trade, government statistics, etc. It is a great source to keep close. Visit the website by clicking here.

4 – OECD Database

OECD stands for Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The database includes several time-series data on their country members. Also, it contains data for some selected non-members. Their database is complete and contains data about fishing, education, agriculture, health, finance, productivity, national accounts, and more. Visit the website by clicking here.

5 – Penn World Table (PWT)

Penn World Table is an extensive database with information on relative income levels, output, input, and productivity for 183 countries starting from the year 1950. The site is developed and maintained by scholars at the University of California and the Groningen Growth Development center. Any user can download data for free, and it is available in Excel format and Stata. Just download the database in Stata format (.dta) and import it into the econometric software. Visit the website by clicking here.

Bonus: Energy Information Administration (EIA) – Crude Oil Data

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. The agency is accountable for collecting and publishing data regarding energy to help policymakers. EIA covers coal, petroleum, natural gas, renewable and nuclear energy.
If you are working on a model for the U.S. which includes crude oil production, you can find any data as supply, prices, oil reserves, spot prices, and more. If you are planning on estimating a structural var model similar to Lutz Killian, the crude oil information available on the EIA website may be of your interest. Visit the website by clicking here.


I have provided some of the primary data sources used for research. Am I missing any reference that you think is worth mentioning? If so, please feel free to add it in the comments! Any other readers and I will greatly appreciate your input. Now that you know where to gather data, it’s time to start estimating! If you enjoyed the article, feel free to share it with others who may find it helpful.

Good luck with your research!

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