Cross-National Time-Series


Data description

CNTSThe Cross-National Time-Series database provides internationally comparative 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 of CNTS is on this page.

CNTS is available to EUI members via this Catalogue record.

The CNTS project began at SUNY Binghamton, New York in 1968, and has undergone several revisions in scope. The database is maintained 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: 2019
Data range: 1815-2018


Support links

A resource description is available from the publisher Databanks International.

The 2018 data release contains an enhanced 'Links' file - connecting to media sources for major international events. The list of 2018 files is below.

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.

The file structure is as follows:

  • 2018 CNTSDATA.xlsx
  • 2018 User's Manual.doc
  • 2018 Codebook.xlsx
  • 2018 Bibliography.xlsx
  • 2018 Independent States Since 1815.xlsx (list of countries)
  • 2012-2018 LINKS.xlsx

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]


Page last updated on 22 March 2021

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