Statistical Abstracts of the World 1

Statistical Abstracts of the World 1

by Arsen J. Darnay

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Compiled from numerous reliable sources, this new compendium brings together information on the widest range of subjects for 185 United Nations and nonmember nations. Arranged by country, the tables are in very easy-to-read boxes, although the regional maps at the front are small and harder to read. Topics include geography, population/demographics, health, ethnicity, crime, science and technology, government, finance, trade, economy, manufacturing, energy, military expenditures, and human rights observances (the only source where this was found). The figures, which date mostly from 1990 or 1991 and include population projections to 2020, are quite current, which is always an achievement in an international reference. The 30-page appendix explains the sources, definitions, and limitations of the data. International sources such as the UN, Unesco, and World Health Organization as well as U.S. data-gathering agencies such as the Census Bureau, CIA, and State Department were used. This work compares very favorably with other standard references that are arranged by country. It covers additional topics beyond those in the Europa World Yearbook 1994 (Europa, 1926+), although with its extensive text on individual countries Europa remains one of the best sources of information. Although The World Factbook (Brassey's, 1994) was a prime source for Statistical Abstracts and is packed with a lot of information (although nothing on the hard-to-find topic of crime), it is much harder to read in its paragraph style. Of those references arranged by topic, allowing easy comparison among countries, the annual United Nations Statistical Yearbook 1990-91 (UN, 1991) easily has the most information, though it also has nothing on crime. The lesser-known International Marketing Data & Statistics 1994 (Gale, 1993) is an excellent source of comparable information on topics such as education, health, trade, economy, and the environment, even while heavily emphasizing retail consumption; the useful Economist Book of Vital World Statistics (Random, 1990) also covers comparable areas, including crime, but is now becoming dated. Gale's reference comes out on top, with the most data in an easy-to-read format; it is an excellent buy for all but the tiniest library. Up-to-date international data are among the hardest to find at a reasonable price, so one hopes that this volume will be issued on an annual basis.-Louise A. Treff, Univ. of Colorado at Denver Lib.

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Cengage Gale
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