The World Bank makes available a ton of great data from the World Development Indicators through its web API. The
WDI package for
R makes it easy to search and download data series from the WDI.
WDI is published on CRAN and so can be installed by simply typing this in the
You can search for data by using keywords in
WDIsearch. For instance, if you are looking for data on Gross Domestic Product:
Which produces this:
> WDIsearch('gdp')[1:10,] indicator name [1,] "BG.GSR.NFSV.GD.ZS" "Trade in services (% of GDP)" [2,] "BM.KLT.DINV.GD.ZS" "Foreign direct investment, net outflows (% of GDP)" [3,] "BN.CAB.XOKA.GD.ZS" "Current account balance (% of GDP)" [4,] "BN.CUR.GDPM.ZS" "Current account balance excluding net official capital grants (% of GDP)" [5,] "BN.GSR.FCTY.CD.ZS" "Net income (% of GDP)" [6,] "BN.KLT.DINV.CD.ZS" "Foreign direct investment (% of GDP)" [7,] "BN.KLT.PRVT.GD.ZS" "Private capital flows, total (% of GDP)" [8,] "BN.TRF.CURR.CD.ZS" "Net current transfers (% of GDP)" [9,] "BNCABFUNDCD_" "Current Account Balance, %GDP" [10,] "BX.KLT.DINV.WD.GD.ZS" "Foreign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP)"
WDIsearch uses grep and ignores cases, so you can also use regular expressions. For instance, if you are looking for GDP per capita in constant dollars:
WDIsearch('gdp.*capita.*constant') indicator name [1,] "GDPPCKD" "GDP per Capita, constant US$, millions" [2,] "NY.GDP.PCAP.KD" "GDP per capita (constant 2000 US$)" [3,] "NY.GDP.PCAP.KN" "GDP per capita (constant LCU)" [4,] "NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.KD" "GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2005 international $)"
Download a series you like for the countries you like:
dat = WDI(indicator='NY.GDP.PCAP.KD', country=c('MX','CA','US'), start=1960, end=2012)
Look at the data:
head(dat) iso2c country NY.GDP.PCAP.KD year 1 CA Canada 9374.883 1960 2 CA Canada 9479.824 1961 3 CA Canada 9967.366 1962 4 CA Canada 10290.362 1963 5 CA Canada 10774.653 1964 6 CA Canada 11283.606 1965
Plot the data:
library(ggplot2) ggplot(dat, aes(year, NY.GDP.PCAP.KD, color=country)) + geom_line() + xlab('Year') + ylab('GDP per capita')
Note: You can use
country='all' to download data for all available countries. You can also feed a vector of indicator strings if you want to download multiple indicators at once.
To speed up search,
WDI ships with a local list of all available WDI series as of 2012-06-18. This list will be updated semi-regularly, but you may still want to update it manually to get access to the very latest data series. To do so, use the
new_cache = WDIcache() WDIsearch('gdp', cache=new_cache)
Thanks for using
WDI! Please send all bug reports and suggestions through the github issue tracker or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org