Getting Started

Getting Started

The Data Catalog is designed to make World Bank's development data easy to find, download, use, and share. It includes data from the World Bank's microdata, finances and energy data platforms, as well as datasets from the open data catalog. There are different ways to access and download datasets.

Search Bar

The simplest way to look for data is to use the search box at the top of the page.

Use keywords (dataset, indicator or country name) to find relevant data. Data Catalog matches these keywords to terms found in the Titles, Descriptions, Countries, Regions, and Tags. For example search using keywords "water", "gdp".


Another way to find data is by filtering. Filter datasets by convenient facets (data type, license, region, country, resource type)

The facet options can be found on the left side of the catalog page.

You can also browse lists of regions, countries, topics, and data types, which can be found on the Homepage

Data Types

There are three different types of Datasets available in Data Catalog: (i) Geospatial; (ii) Microdata; and (iii) Times series.

  1. Geospatial data: GIS data or geo data has explicit geographic positioning information included within it, such as a road network from a GIS, or a geo-referenced satellite image. Geospatial data may include attribute data that describes the features found in the dataset. There are two types of geospatial data - vector and raster.
  2. Microdata: Microdata are unit-level data obtained from sample surveys, censuses, and administrative systems. They provide information about characteristics of individual people or entities such as households, business enterprises, facilities, farms or even geographical areas such as villages or towns. They allow in-depth understanding of socio-economic issues by studying relationships and interactions among phenomena.
  3. Time series data: Time series data are typically aggregate figures at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels on social and economic indicators. These data can be a sequence of data points about an indicator, over a continuous time interval, using equal spacing between every two consecutive measurements. An indicator is a measurable variable e.g. forest coverage, labor force participation rate for women, consumer price index, infant mortality rate, etc.

Metadata and Resources

Metadata for each dataset can be found in the Overview and Additional Information tab. The Resources tab links to different tools and download options such as Bulk download, Query Tool, and API. A resource will either generate an immediate download or will take you to an external page where the data is located.