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Global data on taxes – the new OECD tax revenue database

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics. You can read more about historical changes in taxation patterns and recent trends in our entry on Taxation.

In June this year, the OECD launched the Global Revenue Statistics Database (GRSD); a publicly available resource providing detailed and comparable tax revenue information for 80 countries around the world.1

Here is one key variable from this dataset: total tax revenue as share of GDP. You can explore trends for other countries using the option ‘ Add country ’; or you can compare levels across all countries in the ‘Map’ tab.

Another important source of data on taxes is the International Centre for Tax and Development, which publishes the Government Revenue Dataset. In 2016, we wrote this short blog post explaining the advantages of the ICTD dataset. When we saw that the OECD had published a new dataset, we decided to check how these two sources compare – here’s what we found:

  • The OECD includes 80 countries covering the period from 1990 to 2016. In comparison, the ICTD has broader coverage of 194 countries over 1980 to 2015.
  • For overlapping years the two series are very close, but they do not match perfectly. In the chart below we plot both sources, country by country. 2