Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive


The Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive (CNTS) was initiated by Arthur S. Banks in 1968 with the aim of assembling, in machine readable, longitudinal format, certain of the aggregate data resources of The Statesman’s Yearbook. The CNTS offers a listing of international and national country-data facts. The dataset contains statistical information on a range of countries, with data entries ranging from 1815 to the present.


Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive (CNTS)

Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive


Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive






200+ countries

Last reviewed


Data types and sources

Expert-coded variables and information from official registers and national accounts. The data are based on various sources; the main source for the early data is The Statesman’s Yearbook, while more recent data are gathered from a number of international sources.

Data download

Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive


The dataset contains close to 200 variables, which are organized in groups:

  1. Area and population
  2. Computer Usage Data
  3. Domestic Conflict Event Data
  4. Electoral Data
  5. Energy Data
  6. Highway Vehicle Data
  7. Industrial and Labor Force
  8. Industrial Production
  9. International Status Indicators
  10. Legislative Process Data
  11. Mail Data
  12. Media Data
  13. Military Data
  14. National Government Revenue and Expenditure Data
  15. National Income and Currency Data
  16. Percent Annual Increase Data
  17. Phone Data
  18. Physician Data
  19. Political Data
  20. Railroad Data
  21. School Enrollment Data
  22. Telegraph Data
  23. Trade Data
  24. Urbanization Data

Geographical coverage

The dataset covers more than 200 present and historical countries.

Time coverage and updates

The latest edition of the CNTS Data Archive currently contains 196 years of global data, from 1815 through 2011. The dataset is updated annually.

The latest update of the CNTS dataset was released in 2012 and included, among other things, the Domestic Conflict Event variables, now updated through 2011. A new option in the latest edition is the Domestic Conflict Event Variable LINKS, which provides links to news reports of each event, starting with the 2011 data.

Additionally, in the latest version the World Bank country codes and country names have been matched to the data.


The zip file distributed after ordering contains seven files: Contents.doc, the entire Archive (CNTSDATA.xls), User's Manual.doc, Codebook.xls, Bibliography.xls, the list of countries (Independent States Since 1815.xls) and License Agreement.doc.

Coverage and codebook files are available online.

Access conditions and cost

The dataset must be purchased. The cost varies from $550 for an academic licence for a single user, up to $6.200 for unlimited users from multiple locations.

Access procedures

Predefined table. Distributed by Databanks International via e-mail in an Excel format.

Data formats


Comparability and data quality

The coding used by the makers of the CNTS dataset has become a standard of reference for many scholars. A drawback with the dataset is the costs associated with obtaining it.