Household datasets for development economic research

This list contains links to micro and macro-level data, mainly related to economics. I have not updated this list for a while.


Micro-level data


  • Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)
    • Probably the best source for demographic and health data; comparable surveys for some 70 countries. Very good coverage for Africa
    • Survey data on request; summary statistics and good documentation openly accessible on website
    • Some countries have specialized surveys on HIV, gender etc. Some newer ones also have GIS coordinates
  • RAND Family Life Surveys
    • In-depth surveys on Malasia, Indonesia, Guatemala and Matlab (a region of Bangladesh)
    • Also holds other household, firm and national economic surveys for Indonesia
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
    • Mainly household and community-level surveys related to food security and production
    • Also has some institutional data, social accounting matrixes and geospatial data
    • Need to request data through an online form


Not-only-economic data



Macro-level data


  • World Bank PovcalNet
    • Interactive tool to calculate your own poverty lines and compare them across countries
  • United Nations Common Database (UNCDB)
    • UN's statistical database with more than 300 statistical series from UN and other International Organizations
    • Link is to access point for Harvard affiliates


Other sources


  • DPLS Internet Crossroads
    • Data depository at the University of Wisconsin Madison
    • Long and uncategorized list of links includes statistical offices of several smaller countries and organizations
  • HU-MIT Virtual Data Centre System
    • Great source for social sciences (including and beyond economics), keyword searchable
    • Holds the World Value Surveys, among other things
    • Need to login in top-right corner with Harvard ID