Data Sources

The GDL Area Database Website contains indicators at the national and sub-national level for low and middle income countries (LMICs) that were created by aggregating data from household survey datasets.

These datasets were obtained from the producing organizations for research by GDL-connected researchers. The aggregated indicators in the GDL Area Database can be seen as outcomes of this research. Making them available through our website is one of our ways of publishing research results. Another way is through scientific publications.

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)

DHS are large representative household surveys that provide data for a wide range of monitoring and impact evaluation indicators in the areas of population, health, and nutrition. Standard DHS Surveys have large sample sizes (usually between 5,000 and 30,000 households). Each survey consists of a household interview, in which basic information is collected on all household members, and separate women’s and men’s surveys. In the women’s survey, all usual resident women aged 15 to 49 are invited for an oral interview. The men’s surveys are generally smaller and show more variation across countries. In the interviews, information is obtained on socioeconomic, demographic, and (reproductive) health related issues. Since the 1980s over 300 DHS surveys have been held in all regions of the developing world. For most countries, several surveys have been held in different years, allowing comparisons over time. Producer of the DHS datasets is ICF International and major sponsor of the programme is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently data from 246 DHS surveys for 76 countries are used:

Afghanistan2015Gambia2013, 2020Nicaragua1998, 2001
Albania2009, 2017Ghana1998, 2003, 2008, 2014Niger1998, 2006, 2012
Angola2011, 2016Guatemala1995, 1999, 2015Nigeria1999, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018
Armenia2000, 2010, 2016Guinea2005, 2012, 2018Pakistan1991, 2007, 2012, 2018
Azerbaijan2006Guyana2009Papua New Guinea2017
Bangladesh1996, 2004, 2011, 2014Haiti1994, 2000, 2005, 2012, 2017Peru1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Benin1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2018Honduras2005, 2011Philippines1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2017
Bolivia1998, 2003, 2008India1992, 1999, 2006, 2016, 2019Rwanda1992, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020
Brazil1996Indonesia1997, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2017Sao Tome & Principe2009
Burkina Faso1998, 2003, 2010Jordan2002, 2007, 2012, 2017Senegal1992, 1997, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Burundi2010, 2017Kazakhstan1995, 1999Sierra Leone2008, 2013, 2019
Cambodia2000, 2005, 2010, 2014Kenya1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2014South Africa1998, 2016
Cameroon1998, 2004, 2011, 2018Kyrgyzstan1997, 2012Tajikistan2012, 2017
Central African Republic CAR1994Lesotho2004, 2010, 2014Tanzania1992, 1996, 1999, 2004, 2010, 2015
Chad1997, 2004, 2015Liberia2007, 2013, 2020Timor Leste2009, 2016
Colombia1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015Madagascar1992, 1997, 2004, 2009Togo1998, 2014
Comoros1996, 2012Malawi1992, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2016Turkey1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013
Congo Brazzaville2005, 2011Maldives2009, 2017Uganda1995, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
Congo Democratic Republic2007, 2013Mali1995, 2001, 2006, 2013, 2018Ukraine2007
Cote d'Ivoire1994, 1999, 2005, 2011Mauritania2001, 2020Uzbekistan1996
Dominican Republic1996, 2002, 2007, 2013Moldova2005Vietnam1997, 2002
Egypt1995, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2014Morocco1992, 2003Yemen1991, 1997, 2013
Eritrea1995, 2002Mozambique1997, 2003, 2011Zambia1996, 2002, 2007, 2014, 2018
Eswatini2006Myanmar2016Zimbabwe1994, 1999, 2006, 2011, 2015
Ethiopia2000, 2005, 2011, 2016Namibia1992, 2000, 2006, 2013
Gabon2000, 2012Nepal1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016

UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)

UNICEF supports countries to collect data on the situation of children and women through the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) programme. The MICS was originally developed in response to the World Summit for Children to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of mid-decade goals. Since the initiation of the programme, several rounds of surveys have been carried out and close to 300 MICS have been carried out in more than 100 countries, generating data on key indicators on the well-being of children and women, and helping shape policies for the improvement of their lives. MICS has been a major source of data on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicators and will continue to be a major data source during the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to measure Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators. Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently data from 144 MICS surveys for 79 countries are used:

Afghanistan2010Georgia2005, 2018Samoa2019
Albania2005Ghana2006, 2011, 2017Sao Tome & Principe2000, 2014, 2019
Algeria2013, 2019Guinea Bissau2006, 2014, 2019Serbia2005, 2010, 2014, 2019
Angola2000Guyana2006, 2014, 2019Sierra Leone2017
Argentina urban2011, 2020Honduras2019Somalia2006, 2011
Bangladesh2019Iraq2006, 2011, 2018South Sudan2010
Barbados2012Jamaica2005, 2011Sudan2000, 2010, 2014
Belarus2005, 2012, 2019Kazakhstan2006, 2010, 2015Suriname2006, 2010, 2018
Belize2006, 2011Kiribati2018Syria2006
Bhutan2010Kosovo2014, 2020Tajikistan2000, 2005
Bosnia and Herzegovina2006, 2011Kyrgyzstan2006, 2014, 2018Thailand2006, 2012, 2017, 2019
Botswana2000Lao2012, 2017Togo2006, 2017
Central African Republic CAR2006, 2010, 2019Madagascar2018Trinidad & Tobago2006, 2011
Chad2010, 2019Malawi2020Tunisia2012, 2018
Congo Brazzaville2015Mauritania2007, 2011, 2015Turkmenistan2006, 2015, 2019
Congo Democratic Republic2010, 2018Mexico2016Turks & Caicos Islands2019
Costa Rica2011, 2018Moldova2012Tuvalu2019
Cote d'Ivoire2016Mongolia2005, 2010, 2018Ukraine2005, 2012
Cuba2011, 2019Monte Negro2005, 2013, 2018Uruguay2013
Dominican Republic2019Nepal2019Vanuatu2007
El Salvador2014North Macedonia2005, 2011, 2019Vietnam2006, 2010, 2014, 2021
Equatorial Guinea2000Palestine2010, 2014, 2019Yemen2006
Eswatini2000, 2010, 2014Panama2013Zimbabwe2019
Gambia2000, 2006, 2018Saint Lucia2012

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) International

IPUMS-International is an effort of the Minnesota Population center of the University of Minneapolis to inventory, preserve, harmonize, and disseminate census microdata from around the world. The project has collected the world's largest archive of publicly available census samples. The data are coded and documented consistently across countries and over time to facilitate comparative research. IPUMS-International makes these data available to qualified researchers free of charge through a web dissemination system. The IPUMS project is a collaboration of the Minnesota Population Center, National Statistical Offices, and international data archives. Major funding is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Additional support is provided by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research, the Minnesota Population Center, and Sun Microsystems. Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently data from 17 IPUMS for 12 countries are used:

Botswana2001, 2011Iran2006, 2011South Africa2011
Brazil2000, 2010Malaysia2000South Sudan2008
Chili2002Mexico2000, 2010, 2015Sudan2008

Afrobarometer Surveys

Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa and are repeated on a regular cycle. Each of the barometers is implemented independently. In each country, a national research team administers a country-wide face-to-face survey using standardized survey instruments to compile the required micro-level data under a common research framework and research methodology. Core donors for Afrobarometer Rounds 5 and 6 include: The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Department for International Development (DFID), UK and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Supplemental funding is provided by: The World Bank, Institute for Security Studies (South Africa), United States Institute of Peace, Transparency International and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently for 4 countries data from Afrobarometer surveys is used. Because the Afrobarometer surveys are relatively small, generally data for several years are combined and an in between year is mentioned (e.g. 2013 is 2012 and 2014).

Cape Verde2013Morocco2014

Americas Barometers (LAPOP Surveys)

The AmericasBarometer is an scientifically rigorous comparative survey that covers all of the mainland independent countries in North, Central, and South America, as well as a significant number of countries in the Caribbean. The AmereicasBarometer is part of the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) of the Department of Political Science of Vanderbilt University. With the AmericasBarometer, LAPOP measures values, behaviors, and socio-economic conditions in the Americas using national probability samples of voting-age adults. Stratified sample designs, available on LAPOP’s website, permit complex analyses of individuals nested within sub-regions. Survey participants are voting-age adults interviewed face to face in their households, except in Canada and the United States where the interviews are Web-based. Major supporters of LAPOP are the United States Agency for International Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Vanderbilt University. Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently for 9 countries data from Americas Barometer surveys is used. Because the Americas Barometer surveys are relatively small, generally data for several years are combined and an in between year is mentioned (e.g. 2012 is 2010 and 2014).

Chili2007Guatemala2007, 2012Paraguay2007, 2012
Ecuador2007, 2011Nicaragua2007, 2012Uruguay2007, 2012
El Salvador2007, 2012Panama2007, 2012Venezuela2013

Arab Barometer Surveys

The Arab Barometer is a nonpartisan research network that provides insight into the social, political, and economic attitudes and values of ordinary citizens across the Arab world by conducting rigorous and nationally representative public opinion surveys in Arab countries. The Arab Barometer is directed by a Steering Committee. Members of the committee include the leaders of regional hubs at four institutions in the Middle East and North Africa: The Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan in Amman, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University in Doha, and One to One for Research and Polling in Tunis. Further information is available at

In the GDL Area database currently for 4 countries data from Arab Barometer surveys is used.

Lebanon2013Saudi Arabia2011

Other data sources

For China 2002, data from the Chinese Household Income Project is used. The purpose of this project was to measure and estimate the distribution of personal income and related economic factors in both rural and urban areas of the People's Republic of China. Data were collected through a series of questionnaire-based interviews conducted in rural and urban areas at the end of 2002.

For China 2011, 2013 and 2015 data from the Chinese Household Finance Survey is used. This survey was conducted by the Research Center for China Household Finance, a non-profit institute for academic inquiry, based at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE). The China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) contains detailed information about household finance and assets, including housing, business assets, financial assets, and other household assets, plus information about income and expenditures and social and commercial insurance.

For India 2012, data from the [Indian Human Development Survey] ( is used. The IHDS is a nationally representative, multi-topic panel survey of 41,554 households in 1503 villages and 971 urban neighborhoods across India. IHDS has been jointly organized by researchers from the University of Maryland and the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. Funding for the second round (used here) was provided by the National Institutes of Health, grants R01HD041455 and R01HD061048 and The Ford Foundation.

For Algeria besides MICS data also data from the Algerian (2002) PAPFAM survey is used.

For Malaysia besides IPUMSdata also data from the Malaysian (2011) Asian Barometer survey is used.

National Indicators

The national population figures used to compute the area population sizes are derived from the World Development Indicators of the World Bank.


The Global Data Lab and its connected researchers are grateful to the abovementioned organizations for their efforts to collect and process high-quality data and to make this data freely available to researchers worldwide. We are also greatly indebted to all survey respondents who were prepared to deliver the invaluable information about themselves and their living situation that made it possible to create the development indicators presented here.