Country reports and profiles


  • Background Notes. Published by the U.S. Department of State, these notes provide "facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations" of nearly 200 countries. Released since President George W. Bush took office. Updated regularly.
  • Background Notes. U.S. Dept. of State country information. Permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.
  • BBC Monitoring Country Profiles. Sorted by region, each country profile provides a map, short historical review, a timeline of key events, quick country facts, biography of the head of government, links to media in each country, relevant news items, as well as the country's national anthem.
  • CIA World Factbook. Recommended. Provides extensive up-to-date statistical and factual information by country. Categories include: geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues. Flags of the world, as well as reference maps are also available.
  • Country Profiles for Developing Nations (ELDIS). "Eldis is an internet based information service: filtering, structuring and presenting development information via the web and email." (from ELDIS site). This large site, funded by several international agencies, compiles information and reports on developing countries. By choosing the required region, and then navigating using the right-hand columns in the site, users can access information on economics, health, development, agriculture, education and aid by country.
  • Economist Country Briefings. Provided by the international news magazine The Economist, these country briefings provide news, economic and trade forecasts, statistics, and political information for 60 countries. Updated regularly.
  • OECD Statistics. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has detailed statistics available for its 31 member countries. Information available includes a 100-indicator statistical profile per country, a statistics portal arranged by topic, and OECD publications. Information on non-member countries is also available as well, using the non-member drop-down menu.
  • Portals to the World. Library of Congress. A portal for online information by country. "Portals to the World contain selective links providing authoritative, in-depth information about the nations and other areas of the world. They are arranged by country or area with the links for each sorted into a wide range of broad categories. The links were selected by Area Specialists and other Library staff using Library of Congress selection criteria." - main page.
  • U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies. Recommended. The Country Studies Program is a series of detailed profiles on 101 nations by the US Department of the Army written from 1986-1998. This site provides online access to a portion of the paper-based Area Handbook Series available in GovInfo (call number: US1 DFA2 D36). Please note that some notably outdated country studies are retained for historical purposes, such as the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Yugoslavia. Recent, shorter country profiles on a selection of countries are available by clicking on the "Choose a Country Profile only" link on the main page.
  • World Bank Country Profiles. Although focused on economic information, the World Bank's country profiles provide data, statistics and reports on many indicators, including debt, poverty, education, trade, finance, and development. The site also provides links to sites of interest from other international agencies. Note that information is not uniform from country to country.

Country Forecasts

  • EIU Country Profiles. Yearly report on the economic and political status and background. Each report include information on politics, resources and infrastructure, the economic, economic sectors, the external sector, membership in regional and international organizations.
  • EIU Country Reports. Quarterly reports with monthly updates of current and future trends of the political and economic structure, economic policy, domestic economy, foreign trade and payments of 200 countries.


  • Country Profiles. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics provides statistical reports by country. Basic general information, culture and communication statistics, science and technology statistics, participation rates and literacy rates are presented, with charts and graphs.
  • Education for All 2000 Assessment Country Reports. Published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), these reports from the Education for All Forum Assessment in 2000 provides information on basic educational issues by country. Reports are available in English, French and Spanish.
  • Higher Education Systems Database. The International Association of Universities (IAU) is a UNESCO-based association of universities worldwide. Their Higher Education Systems Database provides information for over 180 countries on higher education. Their database exports .rtf documents that highlight national educational systems, post-secondary institutions, admissions, and student life. Regularly updated.
  • Quick Tables & Figures. The U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides U.S. and International data on education. To search for international data, choose the "International" option. Statistics available vary by year.


  • EarthTrends: The Environmental Information Portal. EarthTrends is an online database of environmental information compiled by the World Resources Institute, and sponsored by the World Bank, UNEP, SIDA, UNDP, the Rasmussen Foundation, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is organized by major topics including by ecosystem, social issues and economic issues. Each major category provides country profiles in .pdf that have statistics, graphs, maps and additional online resources. Data tables and reports are also available on site.
  • GEO Data Portal. The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Data Portal provides access to statistical data sets used by the United Nations Environment Network (UNEP) for environmental assessments.
  • State of the Environment Reporting Information System (SERIS). Compiled by the European Environment Agency of the European Union, this site provides access to State of the Environment .pdf reports filed by countries within the European Union.


  • HIV InSite. Hosted by the Center for HIV Information (CHI) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), this site is a portal for worldwide information on HIV/AIDS. Reports, information from the UN and other international agencies, as well as regional and national data are available. Countries are listed alphabetically. "Launched in March 1997, HIV InSite's mission is to be a source for comprehensive, in-depth HIV/AIDS information and knowledge." (from
  • HIV/AIDS Country Profiles. U.S. Census Bureau. Compiled by the International Programs Center, Health Studies Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau, these .pdf documents provide information, statistics and graphs on HIV/AIDS prevalence in African, Asian and Latin American/Caribbean countries. Please note the information was last updated in 2001.
  • The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS: UNAIDS, By Country. UNAIDS is a United Nations-led programme for HIV/AIDS advocacy and action. Their country reports provide succinct data and country information relating to the virus. Information coverage is uneven due to the relative availability of data in each country. The site also provides links to UNAIDS reports and resources.

Human Rights

  • Amnesty International: Library & Online documentation archive. Amnesty International campaigns for human rights worldwide. This database provides access to Amnesty International documents, including reports, news releases and urgent actions published since 1996. The database is searchable by country, region, sub-region and human rights themes.
  • Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. U.S. Dept. of State. Detailed reports on individual, civil, political and worker rights.
  • Human Rights Issues. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. An alphabetical index to international human rights issues, with links to UN documents, papers, websites and news regarding human rights. Site and documents are available in English, French and Spanish.
  • HuriSearch. Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems. This human rights search engine provides access to human rights-related documents published by NGOs worldwide. It currently searches "over 1500 human rights NGO sites in 58 languages." It has English, French and Spanish interfaces.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) databases on international humanitarian law. The International Committee of the Red Cross' National implementation database provides information regarding the implementation of international humanitarian law at national levels. Click on "National implementation database" to search by country and by keyword. Access to international humanitarian law treaties as well as the Geneva Conventions is also available from this site.
  • IPI World Press Freedom Review. International Press Institute. "Examines the state of the media in over 184 countries, territories and administered areas, documenting press freedom violations and major media developments all over the world." - main page. Annual.
  • Reporters Without Borders: Annual report. Annual review of press freedom since 2003. Reports are also available by regions and country.
  • Special Rapporteur on violence against women: Country visits. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) appointed a Special Rapporteur on violence against women in 1994. This list of country visits reports on women's conditions in certain nations. Provides access to official UN documents in English, French and Spanish.
  • UNICEF: Information by Country. UNICEF. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the international advocate for children. Their country studies provide news, statistics, historical background, and maps as well as UNICEF's activities and priorities by country relating to children's rights and wellbeing.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR has the mandate to coordinate international action to protect refugees and solve refugee issues worldwide. This section of their site is a guide to countries and their refugee issues. Headings within each country include: news, current UNHCR activities, statistics, background, analysis and policy, and UNHCR maps.


  • Agri-Food Trade Service: Market Information. This Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website compiles primarily Canadian government information on countries relating to food statistics and trade. Begin searching by region, or by product.
  • Country Reports on Terrorism. U.S. Dept. of State.
  • Energy Information Administration Country Analysis Briefs. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. It provides country reports on energy consumption, energy and economics-related indicators, has maps and graphs online, and also has links to related external agencies. A great resource for international information on energy, especially oil, and is updated often.
  • FAO Country Profiles and Mapping Information System. The Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) specializes in sustainable development, economic situation, agriculture sector, forestry sector, and the fishery sector in order to fight hunger and promote food security. Their site compiles geographical, statistical and report-based information by country.
  • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names. This thesaurus allows users to search for place names (including towns, geographical features, countries, etc.) worldwide. Provides latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, as well as brief descriptive notes and preferred names.
  • IMF Country Information. International Monetary Fund. Portail to IMF publications and reports arranged by country.
  • Perry Castaneda Map Collection. University of Texas Libraries. The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection provides access to hundreds of public domain maps online. The home page has quick links to maps of areas of current international interest. Maps are searchable by country and region. Historical and thematic maps are also available.
  • Population and Geographic Data Section. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has created a database of their maps to aid in tracing refugee movement and refugee camps. Country maps as well as regional maps are available.
  • Post Reports. U.S. Dept. of State. "Written for U.S. Government employees and family members assigned to diplomatic missions abroad and provide information about living, housing, and health conditions, as well as recreational, cultural, and employment opportunities for family members in the host country." - main page.
  • Statistics. The Asian Development Bank makes available statistics on key indicators for the economy, poverty levels, and environmental statistics of countries in Asia.

Politics - Heads of State

  • World Leaders - Compiled by the CIA, this is a quick listing of head politicians, including ministers, ambassadors to the U.S., and UN representatives. Information is organized alphabetically by country and is updated weekly.
  • Rulers. This site contains lists of heads of state and heads of government, going back historically. Short biographies of some leaders are also provided. Countries are listed alphabetically, and are also accessible by using a linked map. International organizations, foreign ministers and religious leaders are also included, as well as a chronicle of relevant events since 1996 of changes to political leadership internationally.

Public Health

  • Country Profiles. World Health Organization (WHO). Information on WHO member and associate member countries, including maps, health statistics, selected national health accounts indicators, and health professionals' statistics, among others. An excellent resource for health information and statistics by country.
  • Health Topics. World Health Organization (WHO). Information on wide ranging health issues organized by health and development topic. Links to WHO projects, initiatives, activities, fact sheets, reports, and contacts are listed.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Worldwide. Provides information by region and by country on the Red Cross' activities and presence in over 80 countries worldwide. Maps, news and reports are available by country.
  • Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)[Doctors Without Borders] throughout the world. Provides information on MSF activities by country, highlighting major projects, and providing links to related articles on issues in the region.


  • International Telecommunication Union: Country Case Studies. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is part of the United Nations system and coordinates government and private sector global telecom networks and services. "The resultant study sets the context, defines the ‘issues’, analyses the various models or strategies that might be employed, describes current approaches, identifies obstacles and assesses past and current experiences." - main page.
  • Networked Readiness country profiles. Harvard University. These reports include a short summary of the information and communication technology (ICT) trends and issues, as well as key facts and indicators. The reports date back to 2001-2002.


  • Facts and figures. World Tourism Organization. Information and statistics on tourism around the world. Tourism highlights, market trends, short and long term forecast reports are available. Market trends by region and by country, inbound and outbound tourism statistics, as well as accommodation statistics are presented.
  • International travel and health. This World Health Organization (WHO) online publication details the health issues and precautions involved with international travel. Disease outbreak news, disease maps, and country lists are available, as well as general guidelines on travel. An easy-to-use toolbox menu helps you search issues by country, disease, map, and index by keyword. Une version en français est aussi disponible.

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