Data Source: The CIA World FactBook

There are few things which I learned in high school that I still use regularly, and one of them is CIA World Factbook is a public service which the CIA maintains. It contain basic information on all the countries that the United States currently recognizes. This information spans a broad networks of things a person may want to know: from population and geography to number of internet users to number of paved roads and ports. For someone who is looking for basic market information on a small country, The World Factbook is a great place to start (though since the information is very basic, it may not be a good place to end).In terms of downloading the information, all of the CIA World Factbook is in the public domain and can be used without permission. However, the current options of the side only allow you to export the information into an HTML document (by clicking print) and I don’t see any easy way to export the information into a CSV or Excel file.

My newest favorite part of the site is the “Guide to Country Comparisons” where you can compare all the countries of the world one of 63 fields, for example, by population growth rate or by number of cell phones. I especially like this because it allows you really get an idea of what the number mean to other countries.

Interesting side note: previous editions of the World Factbook (going back to 2000) are available for download on the CIA website. You can do it here: For people looking for download the information, there options for the download of the current version, there is options there as well. A great resource from the United State government.