New release of the Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) covers up to 40 years of tax and revenue data

An updated version of the UNU-WIDER Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) has been released. The update includes the latest available tax and revenue data for 196 countries, providing a complete picture of government revenue and tax trends over time and allowing for analysis at the country, regional, or cross-country level.

The latest version of the GRD can be accessed here.

With the new update, the dataset covers the period from 1980—2019 (or —2020 where available), so for most countries there is four decades’ worth of observations available for analysis.

The latest version of the database allows more flexibility for analysis by country income classification (low-income, lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income and high-income), as the historical World Bank Income Group classification has now been included in the Excel and Stata versions.

Considered to be the most complete source of cross-country revenue data available, the GRD is proving to be an invaluable tool for not only researchers, but also for policy makers, journalists and policy advisors worldwide. The dataset has been used extensively to address questions surrounding the impact of taxation on economic and social development, as well as for understanding the effects of economic shocks and policy changes on tax revenue collection.

Strengthening the capacity of developing countries to collect public revenues is key to sustaining investments in inclusive growth and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To accompany the new release, UNU-WIDER is also releasing two technical notes on data source selection and the composition of each variable in the dataset. A third technical note summarising country-specific information and guidance will be published later in 2021.

About the GRD

The Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) provides data on government tax and non-tax revenues, social contributions, and grants in both local currency and as a percentage of GDP. It also highlights the portion of government revenues that accrue from natural resource extraction. 

The data can be accessed online through the GRD Explorer tool, which allows users to compare countries, regions, and indicators as well as to visualize the data, or by download in Stata and Excel formats.

The dataset is updated periodically based on changes or updates to the underlying data, as well as on feedback from users with regard to particular countries or regions.

Launched in 2014 by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), the GRD has been hosted by UNU-WIDER since 2016.

The GRD is part of the UNU-WIDER’s Domestic Revenue Mobilization (DRM) programme, which is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).