Google Lets You Search World Bank Data

Whether you think the World Bank is an engine of worldly improvement or a bunch of corrupt plutocrats, you’ll probably still want to look at their exhaustive trove of data, which Google made available today.

Google has mashed up its public data search with the World Bank’s API (who knew?) and the result is this: a robust data system that capable of giving you real data-driven results to questions like “life expectancy in Brazil” or “energy use of Iceland.” (Below, some graphical comparisons of various nations’ GDP.)


While the data might be World Bank’s, the interaction design is all Google. Clicking results lets you play with interactive charts which are fully embeddable, and can be created either statically or always-updating dynamic graphs.

Query results are based on 17 indicators of “World Development” tracked by the World Bank. You can see those indicators here.

Google says on its blog that the World Bank data program is in keeping with its intention to support fact-based debate. If you’ve come to believe that those words are synonymous with The Daily Show, then take a look at the video below to see what Google means.