The OECD Data is a database containing hundreds of statistical time series for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and selected non-member counties. It covers broad topics including agriculture, development, education, employment, energy, environment, finance, health, and government. It also allows us to explore the data by country. Furthermore, it has different formats available, charts, maps, and tables, to name a few. Though not directly included in the OECD Data, data for over 100 counties and regions worldwide are available on the official OECD website, giving further data access to the public who is interested in a specific county or region.

*This description is based on the information from the OECD Data website.

Available data file formats



This is an open data source that is for public use.




Suppose you want to compare income inequality, measured by Gini coefficients, for some of the most advanced economies, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States in 2016. The Gini coefficient is an indicator scaling from 0 to 1. A Gini coefficient of 0 indicates complete equality while 1 represents complete inequality. You would like to obtain the data in a CSV file (which can be read into Excel).


  • Locate the data source. Go to OECD Data and there is a search bar on the left, where you can explore the topic you choose. On the right of the search bar, you can also browse data by topic or by country.

Screenshot of the OECD Data main page. There is a search bar on the left, and there are two filters on the right.

  • Search your topic and track the searching results. Type income inequality in the search bar and it will direct you to the search results. On the right of the page, the first result, Income inequality, might be the data you are looking for. You need to click on Income inequality and get into the data to see if this is the right one. You can also filter the results by types, Indicators, Databases, and Publications as shown on the left of the screen.Screenshot of the filtering result page. After Income inequality is typed in the search box, the corresponding results show up below on the right. On its left, there are also two types of filters available to choose.
  • Check the data if it is the right one. Now there is a Bar Chart showing income inequality measured by the Gini coefficient, which is exactly what you are looking for. Notice that in the bottom right corner, the bar chart is set as latest data available by default. Since you are looking for data in 2016, you need to change the data to the right year.

Screenshot of the Income inequality page. The bar chart of income inequality appears on the right and the Gini coefficient bars are in ascending order from left to right in the chart.

  • Finalize your data. Click on the box in front of latest data available to unlock the default setting, then you would be able to choose the data for a given year. Move the two bars (left bar to the right and right bar to the left since 2016 is between 2014 and 2018) under latest data available until year 2016 shows up. On the bar chart, each bar represents the Gini coefficient for a specific country in 2016 and the Gini coefficients are in ascending order from the left to the right, which means that income inequality is increasing. The next step is to choose the countries of your interest. Click on bars above the eight countries of your choice and you will see the bars change colors.

Screenshot similar to the image above except that the countries of interest for 2016 are selected in the bar chart.

  • Download your data. In the top right corner of the screen, click on the download button and choose Select data only (.csv) from the drop-down menu. Now you have obtained the data of your interest in CSV form.

Screenshot similar to the image above except that there is a download button with two options above the bar chart.

Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. For this scenario, the citation in APA format would look something like:

OECD (2019). Income inequality [indicator]. https://data.oecd.org/ (Accessed on November 18, 2019)