Download Data from the World Bank API

This function downloads the requested information using the World Bank API

wb(country = "all", indicator, startdate, enddate, mrv, gapfill, freq, cache, lang = c("en", "es", "fr", "ar", "zh"), removeNA = TRUE, POSIXct = FALSE, includedec = FALSE)
Character vector of country or region codes. Default value is special code of all. Other permissible values are codes in the following fields from the wb_cachelist country data frame. iso3c, iso2c, regionID, adminID, incomeID, and lendingID
Character vector of indicator codes. These codes correspond to the indicatorID column from the indicator data frame of wbcache or wb_cachelist, or the result of wbindicators
Numeric or character. If numeric it must be in %Y form (i.e. four digit year). For data at the subannual granularity the API supports a format as follows: for monthly data, "2016M01" and for quarterly data, "2016Q1". This also accepts a special value of "YTD", useful for more frequently updated subannual indicators.
Numeric or character. If numeric it must be in %Y form (i.e. four digit year). For data at the subannual granularity the API supports a format as follows: for monthly data, "2016M01" and for quarterly data, "2016Q1".
Numeric. The number of Most Recent Values to return. A replacement of startdate and enddate, this number represents the number of observations you which to return starting from the most recent date of collection. Useful in conjuction with freq
Logical. Works with mrv. if TRUE fills values, if not available, by back tracking to the next available period (max number of periods back tracked will be limited by mrv number)
Character String. For fetching quarterly ("Q"), monthly("M") or yearly ("Y") values. Currently works along with mrv. Useful for querying high frequency data.
List of data frames returned from wbcache. If omitted, wb_cachelist is used
Language in which to return the results. If lang is unspecified, english is the default.
if TRUE, remove any blank or NA observations that are returned. if FALSE, no blank or NA values are removed from the return.
if TRUE, additonal columns date_ct and granularity are added. date_ct converts the default date into a POSIXct. granularity denotes the time resolution that the date represents. Useful for subannual data and mixing subannual with annual data. If FALSE, these fields are not added.
if TRUE, the column decimal is not removed from the return. if FALSE, this column is removed

Data frame with all available requested data.


Not all data returns have support for langauges other than english. If the specific return does not support your requested language by default it will return NA. For an enumeration of supported languages by data source please see wbdatacatalog. The options for lang are:

  • en: English
  • es: Spanish
  • fr: French
  • ar: Arabic
  • zh: Mandarin

The POSIXct parameter requries the use of lubridate (>= 1.5.0). All dates are rounded down to the floor. For example a value for the year 2016 would have a POSIXct date of 2016-01-01. If this package is not available and the POSIXct parameter is set to TRUE, the parameter is ignored and a warning is produced.

The includedec is defaulted to FALSE because as of writing, all returns have a value of 0 for the decimal column. This column might be used in the future by the API, therefore the option to include the column is available.

If there is no data available that matches the request parameters, an empty data frame is returned along with a warning. This design is for easy aggregation of multiple calls.

  • wb
# GDP at market prices (current US$) for all available countries and regions
 wb(indicator = "NY.GDP.MKTP.CD", startdate = 2000, enddate = 2016)

 # query using regionID or incomeID
 # High Income Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)
 wb(country = c("HIC", "SSF"), indicator = "NY.GDP.MKTP.CD", startdate = 1985, enddate = 1985)

 # if you do not know when the latest time an indicator is avaiable mrv can help
 wb(country = c("IN"), indicator = 'EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS', mrv = 1)

 # increase the mrv value to increase the number of maximum number of returns
 wb(country = c("IN"), indicator = 'EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS', mrv = 35)

 # if you want to "fill-in" the values in between actual observations use gapfill = TRUE
 # this highlights a very important difference.
 # all other parameters are the same as above, except gapfill = TRUE
 # and the results are very different
 wb(country = c("IN"), indicator = 'EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS', mrv = 35, gapfill = TRUE)

 # if you want the most recent values within a certain time frame
 wb(country = c("US"), indicator = 'SI.DST.04TH.20', startdate = 1970, enddate = 2000, mrv = 2)

 # without the freq parameter the deafult temporal granularity search is yearly
 # should return the 12 most recent years of data
 wb(country = c("CHN", "IND"), indicator = "DPANUSSPF", mrv = 12)

 # if another frequency is available for that indicator it can be accessed using the freq parameter
 # should return the 12 most recent months of data
 wb(country = c("CHN", "IND"), indicator = "DPANUSSPF", mrv = 12, freq = "M")
Documentation reproduced from package wbstats, version 0.1, License: MIT + file LICENSE

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