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Country Information Sources

  General Information

G103.5 W6

World Factbook (CIA). [annual]

Includes regional reference maps. Click on in individual country profiles for world rankings of 34 data fields that can be downloaded into spreadsheets.


Europa World Plus

  • Off-campus access requires using your TU NetID
  • Replaces the print edition of Europa World Year Book and all of the Europa regional year books
    • For earlier editions of the regional year book holdings check the Library Catalog, typing "regional surveys of the world"
  • Political and economic profiles of nations of the world
  • Once in a country profile, check the Directory: Government and Politics for information on the nation's constitution, governmental organization, legislature, political organizations, diplomatic representation, judicial system, and defence
  • In additon to country profiles, each regional volume contains timely essays on issues affecting that region


  • Search for topics within a specific country by using the country profiles feature
  • Focus on policy, practice, and research regarding international development issues
  • Links to resources from IGOs and NGOs, including statistics
  • Covers key development themes including agriculture & food, climate change, conflict & security, gender governance, HIV & AIDS, health & health systems, ICTS for development, rising powers in international development
G133 E48

Encyclopedia of World Geography . 24 v. 2002

  • Arranged by world regions, including country and regional profiles.
  • Country profiles cover Environment, Society and Economy and provide a brief statistical profile.
  • Extensive regional profiles discuss Physical Geography, Habitats and their Conservation, Animal Life, Plant Life, Agriculture, Industry, Economy, Peoples and Cultures, Cities, Government, and Environmental Issues.
  • Heavily illustrated with photographs, drawings, diagrams, and maps that complement the text.

Library of Congress Country Studies (Area Handbooks)

  • Originally published between 1988 - 1998 to provide U.S. government officials and citizens with information about other countries.
  • Each area handbook provides the historical context for the geography, society, politics, foreign policy and economics of a country.
  • See the link for the more recently updated profiles, which were added up to 2008

U.S. Department of State Country Information

  • Check Countries & Regions for an alphabetic listing by country of State Department publications with quick links to major publications such as Background Notes, Commercial Country Guides, Economic Policy and Trade Practices, and reports on human rights, terrorism, narcotics, and religious freedom

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  Politics, Economy, & Culture

JA51 S7

The Statesman's Year Book
. 1873- [annual]

JF37 P6

Political Handbook of the World
. 1931- [annual]

  • Particularly useful for its coverage of political parties


HC100 - HC699

OECD Economic Surveys . [annual]

Annual reviews of member and a few non-member countries. Each economic assessment includes a general overview of developments in the country, reports on topics of current interest, and statistical information. Sometimes social issues such as public health, education, immigration are also covered.

These surveys (1961 to current) are also available through TU NetID on the OECD site and Business Source Complete (~ 10 most recent years; current issues w/ a 6 month delay). Or select Business Source Complete, then click on Advanced Search:

  • Type a country name and economic and oecd and change Select a Field to SO Publication Name field. (e.g. czech republic and economic and oecd)
  • Hint: Once you get a list of results change Relevance Sort to Date Descending Sort to move the most current issues to the top of the results list
  • To search for surveys on social issues, add keywords such as health, education, or immigration to your search

See OECD for additional statistics by topic.


Business Source Complete [EBSCO]

  • Available through Cook Library Web site under Research Databases. When off campus, you will be prompted to enter your TowsonU NetID.
  • This database provides full text access to Country Review (CountryWatch), Country Monitor (Global Insight), Country Profile and Country Report (Economist Intelligence Unit), and Political Risk Yearbook: Country Forecasts and Country Conditions.
  • Although the emphasis of some of these publications is economic, basic country information and extensive current political profiles are included.
  • Country Review, Country Profile, and the Political Risk Yearbook are published annually. Country Report and Country Monitor offer monthly updates.
  • NOTE:There may not be a report for every country in each (or any) of the six publications
    • Once in Business Source Complete, click on the Advanced Search tab
    • Type the name of the country you are researching in the first box and change Select a Field to SU Subject Terms
    • Click on Search
    • Once you get a list of results, click on the box next to Country Reports on the menu bar on the left of the screen
    • To limit your search to the politics of a country, add politic* to your search (e.g. argentina and politic* [SU Subject Terms]
    • To limit your search to one or all of the publications listed above:
      • Click on Publication
      • Click in front of the one/s you want to include in your search

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Countries and Their Cultures. 2000

  • Articles arranged by country including topics such as: history & ethnic relations; food & economy; social stratification; political life; social welfare; gender roles; marriage, family & kinship; socialization; religion; medicine & health care

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. 2009

  • Articles arranged by country group or cultural group including topics such as: language; folklore, religion; rites of passage; interpersonal relations; living conditions; family life; clothing; food; education; work
  Statistics & Rankings


  • Provides data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Resources Institute, UNESCO, UNICEF and OECD. Allows customized generation of maps and graphs.


  • Mission of the site is promote "sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals" - from the website
  • Data from around the world on topics such as health, wealth, economies, development, and labor
  • Draws data from many reputable sources such as UN, WHO, World Bank, OECD, ILO, and FAO

World Bank Group

  • Data Gateway
    • Check for Data by topic or Data by Country .
    • See World Development Indicators for 2005 to date
    • See World DataBank to access 7000 indicators from additional datasets by country, series, or time period in areas such as: education; gender, health nutrition & population; poverty & inequality; millennium development goals; external debt; African development; and worldwide governance indicators
    • Current World Development Indicators [annual] are also located in the Reference stacks.
      [Ref HC59.15 W656]

UN Statistics Division



  See OECD for statistics by topic.
HC21 M287

World Economy: Historical Statistics. [OECD] 2001

  • Includes GDP and population statistics by region and country, at least back to 1820.
  GEOHIVE:Global Population Statistics

HA935 S8

Statistical Abstract of Latin America
. 1957- [annual]

HA36 U53

Statistical Yearbook for Asia & the Pacific. 1973- [annual]

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  Maps & Atlases

A to Z Maps Online

  • When off campus, you will be prompted to enter your TU NetID to access this database
  • Includes physical, political, thematic, and outline maps, organized by world, continent, and country
  Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection [UT at Austin]

Maps & Graphics Library [UNEP]

  • Global, regional, and national maps searchable by themes including biodiversity & conservation, climate change, disasters & natural hazards, environment & security, freshwater; marine, pollution, poverty, urban issues and waste
  • Maps were pulled from the Web sites of many international organizations such as the UNEP and World Bank

National Atlas [U.S.]

  • Maps from the U.S. government organizations covering agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, governemtn, history, people, transportation and water.
  • Allows creation of maps as well as preformatted printable maps
Ref Folio
G1021 T5644
Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. 13th ed. 2011
Located in atlas case.

G1021 H2662

Hammond Atlas of the 20th Century
. 1996

G1021 S56

Penguin State of the World Atlas
. 2012

G1021 G6

Goode's World Atlas
. 2010
G1035 B6

Atlas of World Affairs. 2007

Ref Quarto
G1030 O94

Oxford Atlas of World History. 1999
Located in atlas case.




Biography In Context

  • When off campus, you will need to enter your TU NetID to access databases

World News Digest [Facts on File]

  • When off campus, you will need to enter your TU NetID to access databases
  • Check the section: World Heads of State and Government for activities of leaders described chronologically and linked to relevant news summaries

Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments [maintained by the CIA]

  • updated regularly

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  Media, News & Newspapers

P87.5 E535

Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications
. 4 v. 2003

  • Covers the status of the media, including policy and different media formats, in over sixty countries and freedom of the press in the regions of the world. Bibliography included with each article.

Center for International Media Assistance [National Endowment for Democracy]

  • Supports independent media development throughout the world and links to organizations that do the same
  • Publishes research reports and holds events which are available through its website
  • Provides links to Country Profiles that report on the status of the media from IREX/MSI [Media Stability Index], Freedom House, and Reporters Without Borders
  • Maintains a bibliographic database that indexes scholarly articles on topics such as the media and conflict, democracy, and politics, and social media

BBC World Service

  • Check country profiles which provide a brief country overview, facts, information on the current leader and a listing of major television/radio stations, newspapers and news agency in a country.
  • For live audio feed see World Service Radio

Worldpress.org: World News from World Newspapers

  • "Worldpress.org is a nonpartisan magazine whose mission is to foster the international exchange of perspectives and information. It contains articles reprinted from the press outside the United States, as well as originally written material. " - from the Web site
  • Provides links to world news sources sorted by region and country, indicating political bent, as well as to world blogs

World News: Latest News from the WN Network

  • Comprehensive coverage of current (past 2 months) world news. Provides access to the latest news stories. Searchable by keyword, theme, or world region. Headlines, and some accompanying stories searchable back two years.

Independent Media Center

  • "Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth." - From the Web site

Global Voices: Citizen Media Sources from Around the World

  • Supported by the nonprofit organization Stichting Global Voices with an international staff that summarizes news from blogs, podcasts, photos, and videoblogs from countries outside of Europe and North America
  • Search for stories by keyword or by country
  • Presents reports from a international community of bloggers, aiming to provide credible voices, but read the CAUTION regarding blogs to which the site links
  • Organization also supports Rising Voices website

CNN: World


LexisNexis Academic

  • Provides news articles from newspapers in many countries, mostly in English, some in other languages
  • Once in the database, click on Sources tab and choose a country.
  • Next select News folder.
  • Then select Newspapers.
  • Check off publications that you want to include in your search.

  Finding websites, books & articles on a country

Non-governmental Organizations Search

  • Custom search engine that searches through non-governmental organization sites, providing backgound and commentary on international issues
  • Useful for topics such as human rights, women's rights, drug trafficking, human trafficking, child labor, ethnic conflict, genocide, nuclear nonproliferation, weapons & arms control, environment, education, health

Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine

  • Custom search engine that searches through intergovernmental (e.g. UN, EU, WB) organization sites, providing background and commentary on international issues
  • Useful for topics such as human rights, women's rights, drug trafficking, human trafficking, child labor, ethnic conflict, genocide, nuclear nonproliferation, weapons & arms control, environment, education, health
Books & Articles  
  • Use the Advanced Search feature of Cook OneSearch to find books or articles in journals, magazines and newspapers
    • Articles come from the research databases to which Cook Library subscribes
  • When off campus, you will need to enter your TU NetID to access databases
  • Search your country as a SU Subject Term and add other terms, as appropriate
  • To limit to books, check off the limiter USMAI Catalog Only
  • To limit to articles (academic journals, magazines, newspapers), check off the appropriate box
  • If you want to limit your search to articles from a particular discipline, use the Subject Gateways to choose an appropriate database
  • Academic Search provides articles from many disciplines and thus, is a good place to start

CIAO [Columbia International Affairs Online]

  • Indexes and provides significant access to scholarship published from 1991 to date in the form of working papers, policy briefs, journal articles and book chapters, research projects, and conference proceedings
  • For best results, use Advanced Search and narrow with suggested subject terms once you get a list of results
    • Also limit by publication year, if desire

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The URL for this Web page is http://pages.towson.edu/sara/countryinfo.html

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