ADB.org Terms of Use Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Key Indicators (KI) Database frequently asked questions (FAQs). This feature will provide answers to users' most common query about the Database and the data of the website.

General FAQs

Who manages the Key Indicators Database?

The Key Indicators Database (KIDB) is maintained by the Statistics and Data Innovation Unit of the the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department within the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the unit's staff serving as the focal points for, and administrators of, the database.

Where do the data sets come from?

The data sets within the KIDB are generally sourced from the member economies of ADB. The agencies that contribute data sets are the central banks, ministries of finance, and national statistics offices from within these various economies. Of the 1,192 indicators available in the KIDB, 738 are from the agencies of ADB member economies. There are some data sets in the KIDB from international agencies such as the United Nations and its associated organizations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Labour Organization, and the World Bank. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations provides data for agricultural production indexes, while data sets on the direction of trade, exchange rates, and international reserves are from the IMF. External indebtedness data are sourced from the World Bank. Some data from international agencies are not publicly available via the KIDB, but there are ongoing efforts to gain permission from the original sources to house these data within the database. Nevertheless, these source data have been used to present the statistics in the country and regional tables.

What are the technical specifications required for using the Key Indicators Database?

The Key Indicators Database is designed to support a wide variety of computers and mobile devices, and works best with the following specifications:

For desktop computers:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (ver. 75 or later), Apple Safari (version 11 or later), Microsoft Edge (version 15 or later), or Mozilla Firefox (version 62 or later)
  • Screen resolution: 1366x768 or higher
  • Stable Internet connection

For smartphones and tablets:

  • Operating system: Apple iOS 12 or later, or Android 6.x or later
  • Browser: iOS Safari or Google Chrome
  • Screen size: 375 x 667 points or higher
  • Stable Internet connection

Data FAQs

What are the statistical indicators available in the database?

Data on balance of payments, external debt, government finance, labor force, money and banking, national accounts, prices, population, social indicators, and trade are available in the KIDB.

The database is organized into eight themes or topics: (i) People; (ii) Economy and Output; (iii) Money, Finance, and Prices; (iv) Globalization; (v) Transport and Communications; (vi) Energy and Electricity; (vii) Environment; and (viii) Government and Governance.

The People theme presents demographic indicators-such as the size and growth rates of populations; birth, death, and fertility rates; and age dependency ratios-together with information on international migration, urbanization, employment and unemployment, and health and education.

Economy and Output focuses on gross domestic product (GDP) levels and growth rates. It includes related statistics taken from the national accounts, such as gross national income, value added, consumption expenditure, capital formation, exports and imports, and gross domestic saving. This theme also covers production indicators.

Under Money, Finance, and Prices, the database offers indicators on inflation, money supply, interest rates, bank lending, official exchange rates, and stock markets.

Globalization gives the latest statistics on external trade, balance of payments, international reserves, capital flows, external indebtedness, and tourism.

The Transport and Communications theme covers statistics on road and rail networks, air carrier departures, container port traffic, and motor vehicle injuries and fatalities.

Under Energy and Electricity, the database provides statistics on energy productivity, supplies and uses of primary energy, and electricity consumption and generation.

Environment includes indicators related to land use, forest resources, and air and water pollution.

The Government and Governance theme contains statistics on governments' tax revenue, fiscal balances, and expenditure on health services, education, social security, and welfare.

How often are the data sets updated?

The KIDB is updated annually, based on the available data in ADB's flagship publication Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific (Key Indicators).

What data sets are available for individual countries or economies?

The individual tables for each economy associated with Key Indicators are also available in the KIDB. For any given ADB regional member economy, users can download data on population, labor force, national accounts, production indexes, energy, price indexes, money and banking, government finance, external trade, balance of payments, international reserves, exchange rates, and external indebtedness.

Are there data limitations that users should know about?

The indicators in the KIDB do have some limitations and data issues. For each respective theme in the database, these limitations and issues are as follows:

People: Because population censuses are conducted in most economies every 10 years, the growth rates are probably more reliable than the population levels. In many developing member economies, vital registration records are incomplete and therefore cannot be used for statistical purposes. Statistics on urban population are compiled according to each economy's national definition, as there is no agreed international standard for defining an urban area.

Economy and Output: National accounts are compiled in accordance with the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA). These indicators may not be fully consistent across economies because of differences in their data compilation frameworks. While many economies have adopted the 1993 SNA framework, others are still using the 1968 framework, and a few have moved to the 2008 SNA version, which uses the chain volume measure as the valuation method. Regional member economies also have varying reference periods and price valuation methods. Some use the calendar year to compile national accounts, while others use a fiscal year.

Money, Finance, and Prices: Coverage of the consumer price index differs from economy to economy, based on the basket of goods and services for each. Some economies provide a nationally representative index, while others only report the index for urban areas or the capital city.

Globalization: Individual economies follow IMF guidelines when compiling globalization statistics. For balance of payments (BOP) figures, some economies still follow the BOP Manual 4, while others follow the BOP Manual 5 or BOP Manual 6 in presenting their data.

Transport and Communications: The most recent data sets are usually lagged by 2 to 3 years. Some regions, especially the Pacific, have incomplete or no data. Problems with data organization, collection, compilation, and dissemination pose a continuing challenge and affect the availability, quality, and timeliness of transport and communication statistics.

Energy and Electricity: Data sets for household electrification rates are lacking. Most of the data may not be comparable due to the different classifications used by various economies in compiling the data sets.

Environment: The data sets are usually lagged by 2 to 3 years. Not all economies compile data on environmental indicators.

Government and Governance: The coverage of budget data is not standard throughout Asia and the Pacific. Data sets from some economies refer only to the central government, while other economies provide data on consolidated government or general government. Most economies follow the IMF's Government Finance Statistics guidelines, but some economies are still using the 1986 version, while others have switched to the 2001 guidelines.

What are Global Value Chains?

A global value chain (GVC) is a network of interlinked stages that straddle international borders in order to produce specific goods or services at a final location. Typically, a GVC involves transforming imported or domestically produced goods and services into products that are then exported for use as inputs into a subsequent stage of production or as final consumption products. An example is the manufacturing of Toyota automobiles in Asia, which involves a huge regional production network covering India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, and Thailand. Under this GVC, the final assembly of componentry and parts from the other members of the network is conducted in the People's Republic of China and Thailand. For more details and in-depth analysis of GVC indicators, click here.

Which indicators are available for the Sustainable Development Goals?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. There are 17 SDGs in total, with 169 targets to be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators. These will be compiled into an annual SDG progress report. The link to the goals and targets is now available, but the indicators for each SDG are still being finalized. See more at sustainabledevelopment.un.org.