Call for Data

There are some statistics and other facts I’m trying to hunt, partly for my own insatiable curiosity, and partly because they’re relevant to some of my theories about how the world works. I’m going to put this on a permanent page right below the About Me link, since it’s a long-term thing.

1. Updated Gini indexes for a variety of countries. The Census Bureau has recent data for the US (.46 in 2004, if I’m not mistaken), but for all other countries I can find no reliable data. I’m especially interested in the figures for Israel, Singapore, Japan, Sweden, Britain, Canada, France, and Germany.

2. Survey crime rates for, well, as many countries as possible (I only have data for the US and Britain, and I’m not sure they use comparable methodologies).

3. Comparable international gender- and race gap statistics. The US measures the gaps with annual income for full-time workers; Europe does with hourly income. Besides, after great pains, I’ve only managed to find comparable racial income data for the US and Britain. Unemployment data is harder to find; estimates of Algerian-French unemployment apparently range from 20% to 40%.

4. Detailed education data from various first-world countries, including at least Japan, the US, Finland, Britain, Sweden, South Korea, Canada, France, Russia, and Germany, roughly in descending order of importance. The TIMSS tests are worthless; they measure how good students are at taking TIMSS tests. Ideally, I’d like to have enough material to be able to write an analog of Ezra’s The Health of Nations.

Update: 5. Comparable income mobility statistics for multiple countries. I have comparable numbers for the US, the UK, and Singapore, and a different set of comparable numbers for the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, and the four Scandinavian countries. I’d be thrilled to see numbers that compare all at once, plus data for Japan, southern and eastern Europe, and maybe China and India.

7 Responses to Call for Data

  1. Axel says:

    A lot of work!
    For Germany, a good starting point is the “Federal Statistical Office Germany” (Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland), URL is a href=””> There is also an English translation but I’m not sure how complete it is. I guess that most of the new documents and data sets are actually available in German language only.
    My personal experience is: People at the office are mostly helpful, especially to foreign scientists with a serious interest, as long as you clearly write what you are searching for and as long as you ask the responsible person. So write something like “I’m a social scientist from xyz University … blablabla… searching for…” and they will probably answer.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    Oh, thanks… I’m now sifting through the English translation of the study on women and girls in Germany. The data isn’t really comparable to other things I’ve seen, but it has its share of gems (in two-income families, women spend about three fifths of their working time on household work while men spend only one third of theirs; the intra-industry gender gap is 26% in blue collar jobs and 29% in white collar jobs).

    For some reason, all of your comments either get to the moderation queue or are identified as spam. I think I’ve rescued all of them so far, but I can’t see any white list of IPs, only a black list.

  3. Axel says:

    Moderation queue or spam? I don’t know why. Strange!

    For German crime rates, the Bundeskriminalamt (the German “FBI”) has an English page were you can find the Police Crime Statistics for 2004-2002 and other stuff. The newest official statistics is from 2005 and only available in German.

  4. For Sweden, the comparable source to Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschlands would be Statistiska Centralbyrån:
    Again, not with personal experience of inquiries to them specifically, but with swedish organisations in general, telling them where you’re from, what you do, and what data you’re looking for will with high probability give you if not data, then at least pointers to the right entity to talk to.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Thanks, Mikael. That gives me most of the statistics I need about Sweden. I still don’t have survey crime, but I don’t have that for any country but the US and Britain.

  6. For crime numbers in Sweden, a quick google made me come up with the following:
    Some dutch thingie publishing the “European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics 2003”
    Apparently, the organisation tasked with crime statistics in Sweden is BRÅ: Brottsförebyggande rådet (Council for crime prevention — they also are deeply involved in things like victim compensation and suchlike). They have people working with it – contact data at the webpage – and also publicized numbers for
    * crimes reported: “anmälda brott”
    * crimes solved (? not sure about terminology here) “uppklarade brott” and
    * number of suspects
    tabulated over years, quarter of years, over municipals or over regions, over repeat crimes, and over judgement properties (age, gender, crime, punishment, …) all of it available from this central page.

    There also seem to be some police agencies who also publish statistics on the web, but I couldn’t actually load any of their webpages to see what’s around there….

  7. pimephalis says:

    For Canadian statistics on almost all of your items above, you can probably find them on Statistics Canada’s site:

    Hope that helps in your search.

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