2005 data available in our historical charts

I’m currently working on improving the charting features of IndexMundi. The first step I’ve taken is to refresh the data sources for rank and trend graphs so that 2005 data is plotted when available. A good example is Iraq’s death rate, which believe it or not has gone down from an estimated 5.66 deaths per 1000 inhabitants in 2004 to 5.49 deaths per thousand in 2005.

Keep an eye on this blog as I improve IndexMundi’s graphs. Your ideas are quite naturally welcome.

How accurate is the CIA Factbook?

One of the frequent questions we get is about the accuracy of the data we extract from the CIA Factbook. Our standard answer is that CIA figures are close estimates, but that the definitive source of information should be each country’s statistics bureau. Take for example the population of France. The CIA estimate for 2005 is 60.7 million, whereas the French statistics bureau estimates that the total population of France is 62.4 million.

How accurate are other frequently cited sources? The most recent estimate of the World Bank is 60.0 million. The World Bank’s estimate is for 2004 though, so a direct comparison cannot be made. The United Nations provides a mid-2003 estimate of 59.8 million.

In conclusion, you should check multiple sources to get an understanding of the accuracy of any figure we present in IndexMundi. When in doubt, check the web site of each country’s bureau of statistics, which is conveniently listed in the related links section of each country’s main page.