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Data

As a step towards establishing a powerful but easy-to-use database, we are currently storing data in spreadsheets. Data include some series not found anywhere else. Some data are standardized. Where the differences between standardized and raw data are important, raw data are available in separate spreadsheets.

We are aware of the many gaps in coverage, and we welcome help in filling them. If you have data that would be appropriate for inclusion, see the “Submitting data” page.

Data are divided into country tables and international tables.

Dates of coverage:
Currently, our target range of coverage is 1492 to the present, with special emphasis on the years before about 1950, which few databases cover in detail. For many countries, data are scarce or nonexistent before the 1800s. Our emphasis is on historical data, not current data, so data series that come close to the present may only be updated sporadically.

Country tables:
A “country” here means an independent territory or a dependent territory administered apart from the mother country. Coverage includes some countries that no longer exist. Each country has one or more separate spreadsheets in the country tables. The country spreadsheets are divided into annual data series; higher-frequency data series, typically up to monthly; raw data; and other data. There may also be separate tables for multinational currency authorities, such as the East African Currency Board.

Country tables contain the following statistics, where we have been able to make them available:

  • Exchange rates: low-frequency data.
  • Monetary authorities: assets and liabilities; income and expenditures.
  • Deposit money banks: assets and liabilities; income and expenditures.
  • Other banking institutions: assets and liabilities; income and expenditures.
  • Other financial institutions: assets and liabilities; income and expenditures.
  • Monetary aggregates.
  • Interest rates: low-frequency data.
  • Prices, production, labor.
  • International transactions.
  • Government finance.
  • National accounts and population.
  • Summary data on the history of financial institutions.
  • Other data we consider relevant.

Country coverage:
Countries in black italics no longer exist as separate independent entities or dependencies. Some country data may exist in the international tables (below) even for countries that currently lack country tables. View this Excel sheet to see the list of city and country names including old and local names.

The country names and dates in the following table link to the data tables as Excel files (.xls). Click on the links to download the spreadsheets. On some computers, these files may download to your default download folder. Please let us know if you would like the data in some other format.

Country Uploaded
Afghanistan Jul 17, 10
Angola Jan 24, 11
Argentina Jul 17, 10
Austria Jul 17, 10
Belgium Jul 17, 10
Bhutan Jul 17, 10
Brazil Jul 17, 10
British Caribbean Currency Board Jan 24, 11
Bulgaria Jul 17, 10
Canada Aug 25, 11
Cape Verde Jan 24, 11
Chile Apr 27, 11
China Jan 24, 11
Colombia Apr 27, 11
Costa Rica Jul 17, 10
Cuba Jul 17, 10
Denmark Apr 27, 11
East African Currency Board Jan 24, 11
France Aug 25, 11
Germany, united Jul 17, 10
Goa Jan 24, 11
Country Uploaded
Greece Jul 17, 10
Guinea-Bissau Jan 24, 11
Hong Kong Apr 27, 11
Iceland May 02, 11
India Jul 17, 10
Indonesia Jul 17, 10
Iraq Jan 24, 11
Ireland Apr 27, 11
Italy Apr 27, 11
Jamaica Jul 17, 10
Japan Jul 17, 10
Jordan Jan 24, 11
Korea, united Jul 17, 10
Libya Jan 24, 11
Macao Jan 24, 11
Mexico Jul 17, 10
Mozambique Jan 24, 11
Myanmar (Burma) Jul 17, 10
Nepal Jul 17, 10
Netherlands Jul 17, 10
Norway Jul 17, 10
Country Uploaded
Pakistan Jul 17, 10
Palestine Currency Board Jan 24, 11
Portugal Jul 17, 10
Qatar and Dubai Currency Board Jan 24, 11
Rhodesia and Nyasaland Jan 24, 11
Romania Jul 17, 10
Russia Jul 17, 10
Sao Tome Jan 24, 11
Scotland Jul 17, 10
Serbia Jul 17, 10
Sikkim Jul 17, 10
Spain Jul 17, 10
Sudan Jan 24, 11
Sweden Jul 17, 10
Switzerland Jul 17, 10
Taiwan Jul 17, 10
Timor Leste Jan 24, 11
Turkey Jul 17, 10
United Kingdom Jul 17, 10
United States Jul 17, 10
West African Currency Board Jan 24, 11
Yemen, Southern Jan 24, 11

International tables:
Some data are easier to compile and use in spreadsheets that cover multiple countries. When we have a database working, it should be possible to view any series for a single country or across countries, as the user wishes. Tables with bold blue hyperlinks currently exist:

Data excluded:
Because of limited time and resources, we currently exclude coverage of commodity prices, except gold and silver; equity prices, except the broadest indices; prices and yields of debt securities, other than a few benchmark series for each country; price indices, except those for overall prices; and most “real” economic indicators.

How to cite our data:
Users of our data must credit Historical Financial Statistics and, where convenient, the original researchers, who are identified by short citations in the spreadsheet and full citations in the documentation file (see the “Documentation” page). Here are suggestions for citing the data:

  • If the data you use come from just one or two sources: “Historical Financial Statistics, from John Nugée and others (1995), ‘A Brief History of the Exchange Fund,’ Hong Kong Monetary Authority Quarterly Bulletin, no. 3, May: 1-16. Viewed [date].”
  • If data come from multiple sources, but one much more than others: “Historical Financial Statistics, from various sources, especially Statistical Abstract Relating to British India (title varies; various dates). Viewed [date].”
  • If data come from multiple sources, without heavy reliance on any particular one: “Historical Financial Statistics, from various sources; see Historical Financial Statistics for details. Viewed [date].”