Technical reports

Pre-launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2012

The first chapter of the WESP 2012 on “The Global Outlook” will be launched in New York on 1 December.     

The WESP is a joint product of DESA, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations regional commissions. It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues. One of its purposes is to serve as a point of reference for discussions on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities during the year. 

For more information:    

World Fertility Report 2009


This report, published by the Population Division, is the third in the series of the analysis of reproductive behaviour worldwide. It discusses levels and trends of fertility, the timing of childbearing, marriage, contraceptive use and national policies with respect to fertility and childbearing for 196 countries or areas.

The data presented are obtained from civil registration statistics, population censuses and nationally representative sample surveys. Information on national policies is obtained mainly from the responses of Governments to periodic United Nations inquiries and official sources of information on government policies and programmes. This report comes with online data and metadata on a comprehensive set of indicators on fertility, nuptiality, contraceptive use and national policies related to childbearing for 196 countries or areas.    

To download:         

Statistical compilations      


 Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online


The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or annual and quarterly data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.     

Vol. LXV – No. 10, October 2011     

This month, the following tables, which are featured in the MBS on a quarterly or annual basis, are presented along with the regular recurrent monthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Civil aviation traffic: passenger km and cargo net ton km; Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars.     

For more information:     

2010 International Trade Statistics Yearbook, Volume I, Trade by Commodity


The 2010 International Trade Statistics Yearbook (2010 ITSY), Volume I – Trade by Country presents an analytical and condensed view on the trade performance of a total of 175 countries (or areas) with the 2010 data on imports and exports by commodity and trading partner provided for 93 countries (areas), representing approximately 74% of world trade of 2010.     

Volume I – Trade by Country is compiled early in 2011 (in May 2011) to allow for an advanced release of an overview of international merchandise trade in 2010 and for a much earlier publication of the available 2010 country (area) data. Volume II – Trade by Commodity contains the detailed tables showing international trade in main commodity groups and is finalized approximately six months after the completion of Volume I as the preparation of those tables requires additional country data which, normally, become available later in the year. Volume II contains also updated versions of the two world trade tables published in Volume I.     

For more information:     

Online Publication of Demographic Yearbook 2009-2010, 61st Edition

This issue is the sixty-first in a series published by the United Nations since 1948. It contains tables including a world summary of selected demographic statistics, statistics on the size, distribution and trends in national populations, fertility, foetal mortality, infant and maternal mortality, general mortality, nuptiality and divorce. Data are shown by urban/rural residence, as available. The Demographic Yearbook 2009 – 2010 presents demographic statistics for two reference years: 2009 and 2010 in an effort to make it as up to date as possible.     

To accommodate the presentation of the statistics for two reference years,in population and vital statistics tables presenting time series, the available data for reference years 2009 and 2010 are presented side by side. As for the detailed population and vital statistics, two sets of tables, one referring to 2009 and the other referring to 2010, are displayed one after the other.     

The Demographic Yearbook 2009-2010 is now available online at:     

Compendium of Housing Statistics

DESA’s Statistics Division released the seventh edition of “The Compendium of Housing Statistics”. The first edition of the Compendium of Housing Statistics was issued in 1971, followed by its 1972, 1975, 1983, 1995 and 2001 editions.     

The 2011 version contains 21 tables presenting statistics on the characteristics of housing units by country as well as the distribution of households and the general population by occupied dwellings. Data are shown by urban/rural area, as available. In addition, the 2011 volume will offer technical notes and a synoptic table to better service its users.     

This publication will be available from December 21, 2011 on the UN Statistics Division website:     

Discussion papers      

Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

November issue highlights the agreement recently reached by EU leaders to scale up measures to solve the simmering debt crisis and reviews the main steps taken so far. It also reports on the G20 Cannes meeting and the absence of a coordinated action for jobs creation. In developed countries, in particular, unemployment is still rising and lasting longer.     

For more information:     

Outreach material      

Rio+20: Making it Happen

The latest issue of the Rio+20: Making it Happen newsletter focuses on the sustainable management of oceans and marine resources (blue economy), one of the seven priority issues to be addressed at the Conference, and highlights the launch of the Conference’s communications strategy on 22 November, aiming at increasing public engagement to promote the sustainability agenda. In addition, it announces the new Conference dates.     

For more information:     

Social Development Link

The November issue is now available online. The newsletter, which is now published monthly by the Civil Society and Outreach Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development, aims at providing a sharp and synthetic summary of major activities carried out by DSPD.     

As its title shows, the newsletter will serve as a link between DSPD and its major partners, from civil society actors to social development practitioners and scholars. This is an electronic publication – no printed edition is generated.     

For more information:     

United Nations Youth Flash

The October issue is now available featuring a story on how school children in Nicaragua has gained access to the digital world through an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) pioneering project. The newsletter is a service of the UN Programme on Youth to keep the public informed about the work of the UN on youth issues. It is prepared with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and from youth organisations around the world.     

View full issue at:     

United Nations Enable Newsletter

The latest issue is now available online, highlighting among other things the current session of the General Assembly and its work on disability issues. Two reports of the Secretary-General are being considered on the “Status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol” and the “Realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities”.     

ENABLE Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) within UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and civil society.     

View full issue at:     

Mobile applications


The application versions of the following publications are now available on the UN Publications website.     

UN CountryStats
This is a free data visualization app that gives users portable access to social, economic and environmental data from 216 countries. It enables users to compare various indicators across multiple countries and years.     

Score the Goals
The app version of ‘Score The Goals: Teaming Up to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals’ is an educational comic book app featuring 10 football UN Goodwill Ambassadors, challenged to tackle the eight MDGs. The book is aimed at 8-14 year-old children and provides a fun and interactive way to help them understand and reflect about poverty and development issues.     

Basic Facts about the United Nations
This is the portable reference of choice for those interested in the UN.     

UN News Reader
This is a mobile news application for quick and easy access to UN news. The user finds real-time news or can browse through news organized by subject or geographic region. News can be saved to read later, shared on social networks or emailed to a friend.     

For more information: