Gapminder combines data from multiple sources into unique coherent time-series that can’t be found elsewhere.
Most of our data are not good enough for detailed numeric analysis. They are only good enough to revolutionize people’s worldview. But we only fill in gaps whenever we believe we know roughly what the numbers would have been, had they existed. The uncertainties are often large. But we comfort ourselves by knowing the errors in peoples worldview are even larger. Our data is constantly improved by feedback in our data forum from users finding mistakes.
We fill in all gaps: Our data is more consistent over time and space than most other sources, because we dare to fill all the gaps in the sources. We dare this because our purpose is to show people the big picture, and they won’t understand it if its full of holes.
We use current geographic boundaries: We show the world history as if country borders had always been the same as today. Read more here.
Below are links to documentation describing how we have combined the sources in each case. For the sake of transparency, whenever allowed to share the underlying data, we make our complete calculations available for download, often in Excel files. In most of these files the details are not documented, as we haven’t had time to describe every little step in our data process. But our data is constantly being improved by people who help find problems. If you have questions, we will try to answer them in our data-forum.
Each documentation page has a version number and links to the previous versions. Whenever we update the data, or make other significant changes in the documentation, we make a new version.
Data combined by Gapminder
Average age at 1st marriage (girls)
Babies per woman (total fertility rate)
Child Mortality Rate, under age five
GDP per capita in constant PPP dollars
Infant Mortality Rate, under age one
Life Expectancy at Birth
World Health Chart, data sources
This list only includes data that we have somehow modified or calculated ourselves. The complete list of data we use is here »