Cross National Comparative Data

There are several sources of data that place Ireland in an international context:


The Eurobarometer is a long-running series of datasets that track attitudes on EU-related and other issues. Funded by the European Commission, it has been running since 1973, and comprises a rich source of cross-national data.

Data can be accessed via the ZACAT service provided by GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (requires registration).

European Social Survey

The European Social Surveyis an academically-driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. Collection of ESS data in Ireland is facilitated by a grant from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Data can be accessed on the ESS data archive (requires registration).

European Values Survey

The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens all over Europe.

Data is available via ZACAT (requires registration).

International Social Survey Programme

The ISSP is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. It brings together pre-existing social science projects and coordinates research goals, thereby adding a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual national studies.

Data is available via ZACAT (registration required).


PISA International Database

PISA is a survey of students' skills and knowledge as they approach the end of compulsory education. It is not a conventional school test. Rather than examining how well students have learned the school curriculum, it looks at how well prepared they are for life beyond school.

Website: via the OECD

Data: PISA 2000 - PISA 2003 - PISA 2006 - PISA 2009


The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) measure comparative educational achievement.

Data is available via TIMSS & PIRLS.


Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 45,000 individuals aged 50 or over.

Data is available via the SHARE Research Data Center (requires registration).


UNdata is provided by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users. Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system.

Data is available via UNdata.