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International Debt Statistics: Open Data on a wider scale

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For over three decades debt statistics published by the World Bank have provided the authoritative accounting of the external debt of developing countries. Governments, investors and bankers, academics, and journalists have relied on them to identify financial trends and vulnerabilities.

"The debt crisis of the 1980s brought increased attention to debt statistics and to the World Debt Tables, the predecessor to International Debt Statistics (IDS). Now the global financial crisis has once again heightened awareness in developing countries of the importance of managing their external obligations."
Shaida Badiee

Now for the first time International Debt Statistics 2013 and the IDS database, launched today, include high frequency, quarterly, external and public debt data for both high-income and developing countries collected and compiled by the World Bank in partnership with the International Monetary Fund. Now users can not only examine trends in debt flows within the developing world, but also take a closer look at the external debt of high-income countries, and develop a more complete understanding of global financial flows.

Here’s an example of the data available in the IDS database:




While expanding its coverage, IDS will maintain detailed reporting of external debt data for 128 developing countries along with information on their aggregate net capital flows.
The IDS includes:

  • external debt stocks and flows
  • major economic aggregates
  • key debt ratios
  • average terms of new commitments
  • currency composition of long-term debt, and
  • debt restructurings of developing countries

You can access the full International Debt Statistics database or download the full report in PDF format through the World Bank’s Open Data website

After all these changes and additions, we want to hear from you about how you use the IDS database. Are there lessons we can learn from your data analysis? Are there trends and highlights from International Debt Statistics 2013 you want to share with us? Does adding high frequency, quarterly, external and public debt data change the picture you had of external debt? What else would you like to have included? Let us know and stay tuned for the conversation!


Ibrahim Levent

Team Leader, Development Data Group

Maryna Taran

Development Data Consultant

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