Cross-National Time-Series


Data description

CNTSThe Cross-National Time-Series database provides internationally comparable observations on government expenditure, population, territorial size, per capita GDP, trade, infrastructure, conflict events, elections, legislative process and international status indicators for over 200 countries and territories since 1815. A detailed description is on this page.

CNTS is available to EUI members via this Catalogue record.

The CNTS database was launched at SUNY Binghamton, New York, in 1968. The scope and contents have been revised many times and the database is now collated and published by Databanks International.

CNTS is structured as "a matrix of periodically augmented records, each encompassing data for one country-year." See file structure under 'How to access' further below.

CNTS variables are listed in this table.

Users of CNTS may also be interested in these historical data resources:


Time period

Data updated: 2021
Data range: 1815-2020.


Support links

A resource description is available from the publisher Databanks International.

The Coverage by Category Files table lists the data in CNTS (right text box via link).

A related book Cross-Polity Time-Series Data by Prof. Arthur S. Banks - founder of CNTS - is available at the Badia Library (310 BAN).


How to access data

Access to CNTS data is via this Catalogue record.

In addition to the core data files, CNTS provides 'Links' files to media sources for major international events.

The file structure is as follows:

Compressed files (bulk downloading):

  • All CNTSDATA files and (media sources) ‘LINKS’ files
  • Only CNTSDATA files
  • Only (media sources) ‘LINKS’ files.

Individual files:

  • Data file CNTSDATA.xlsx
  • User Manual
  • Codebook
  • Bibliography file
  • List of country names file (with name changes since 1815).

The publisher provides the following advisory: "Note that the CNTS country code is invariant, while the country names change over time, so it is recommended that you select the subsets based on the country code."

Please read, and abide by, the terms and conditions of use for licensed data resources.


Data homepage

Contact: Thomas Bourke at [email protected].eu


Page last updated on 22 November 2021

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