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Accessing International Debt Statistics using the World Bank API

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The World Bank recently released the latest version of International Debt Statistics (IDS). If you were connected to the IDS database through the World Bank Data API, you would already know that! The World Bank Data API gives you direct access to our data. This removes any need to manually download the data when there’s an update, because you have a live connection to the IDS database. Sounds great, right?

In this version of IDS, we’ve included additional breakdowns. These allow you to better understand the data by the type of debtor and creditor. The additional breakdowns have also doubled the number of indicators available in the IDS database. The API can help you pull and parse through these indicators. But if you’re not familiar with APIs or IDS, this could be intimidating, especially if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. To help you better understand how to access the latest IDS indicators and data using the World Bank Data API, we published the first part of a new series of step-by-step IDS and API guides in both Python and R: 

Part 1 - Query the API: Indicators and locations
Python Guide
R guide

Part 1 shows you how to use the API to find the IDS database and then select your indicator and location of choice. You can watch our debt-data GitHub repo for the upcoming guides using the IDS data, which will include exploring the data and creating charts.

We encourage you to follow the guides and share what you’ve created using the latest IDS data.


Parul Agarwal

Statistical Analyst, Development Data Group, World Bank

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