Democracy Time-series Data

Research project

Democracy Time-series Data contains data on the social, economic and political characteristics of 190 countries with over 700 variables from 1971 to 2007. It merges the indicators of democracy by Freedom House, Vanhanen, Polity IV, and Cheibub and Gandhi, plus selected institutional classifications and also socio-economic indicators from the World Bank. This dataset is in a country-year case format, suitable for time-series analysis.

New variables in the January 2009 3.0 Release include the KOF Globalization Index and the new Norris-Inglehart Cosmopolitan Index. This is the dataset used in Pippa Norris' book Driving Democracy: Do Power-Sharing Institutions Work?


Democracy Time-series Data

Democracy Time-series Data


Democracy Time-series Data


Excel 2007, Stata 8.0 SE, SPSS 17.0




190 countries

Last reviewed


Data types and sources

The dataset merges indicators from various sources. Amongst others Alesina, Cheibub and Gandhi, Freedom House, International IDEA, KOF, Polity IV, Transparency Internationa, Vanhanen, World Bank and World Values Survey.

Data download

Democracy Time-series Data


The dataset contains variables on demographic and social indicators, political institutions, electoral systems, decentralization, women in parliament, executives, regime type, democratization, civil liberties, political rights, ethnicity, human rights, conflict, values, globalization, trade, media access, cosmopolitanism and regions.

Geographical coverage

The Democracy Time-series dataset covers 190 contemporary countries.

Time coverage and updates

1971-2007. The dataset was last updated in January 2009.


The variable labels and the variable sources are given in the dataset’s online codebook. Note however that it is useful to check the sources’ original codebooks for further description and definition of the variables coming from other sources. The period for each series also varies.

Access conditions and cost

Available free of charge.

Access procedures

Predefined table.

Data formats

Excel 2007, Stata 8.0 SE, SPSS 17.0

Comparability and data quality

Not examined.

Electronic resource

Codebook for Pippa Norris. 2009. Democracy Time-series Dataset: Variable Labels. Release January 2009


Norris, Pippa. 2008. Driving Democracy: Do Power-Sharing Institutions Work?. Cambridge University Press, New York/Cambridge.