An efficient world facts checker - guide to CIA World Factbook

Over the years I grew a nasty habit of always checking background facts about any topic I am reading about.  One of the resources I visit most often is the CIA World Factbook which provides incredible amount of information about countries, their citizens, and economics. I always felt that this resource could be even more useful if it was given a proper informatics treatment and so a few weeks ago I gave it a try and guide to CIA World Factbook has been born.

This post demonstrates a few possibilities how to check for economic data including production and consumption of fossil fuels as they seem to be particularly relevant in the context of climate discussions. 


The guide provides plenty of data about individual countries including :


  • several GDP related values
  • exports and imports
  • natural resources
  • electricity production and consumption
  • production and consumption of oil and natural gas


  • number of inhabitants
  • age structure
  • health 
  • income


Countries can be  compared based on individual statistics.

The picture on the left demonstrates such usage.

The graphs are generated on the fly (thanks to Google Charts Tools) and so they can be experimented with.

It especially means that selection of countries to be displayed can be tailored by using the selection tool in the right corner:




The screenshot on the left provides an example of such comparison - electricity consumption of US compared with Africa.

The bottom screenshot provides population comparison based on the same countries selection. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.


If you find the guide  interesting  the short demo video may further whet your appetite:

Posted by Mila on Monday, 31 January, 2011

Creative Commons License The Skeptical Science website by Skeptical Science is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.