I'm looking for longitudinal population counts by age and sex, for any country.

Table 12411-0006 in the Destatis Genesis DB gives me exactly what I want for Germany, from 1970 through 2013. The first and last few rows look like this:

        Date    Age    Men  Women
1  1970-12-31    <1 401679 382934
2  1970-12-31     1 448827 427427
3  1970-12-31     2 483801 460014
4  1970-12-31     3 504306 480476
5  1970-12-31     4 518807 494128
6  1970-12-31     5 520701 494477
3780 2013-12-31    81 192308  283965
3781 2013-12-31    82 180011  278367
3782 2013-12-31    83 172021  280401
3783 2013-12-31    84 150841  257959
3784 2013-12-31   85+ 586360 1475780

Can anyone point me towards sources of similar data for other countries than Germany?

I have looked through other likely data sources but have not found anything helpful:


  • I'm fine with any country.
  • I'd like the data broken down by year of age, as above, but age categories ("0-4", "5-9", ...) would also be useful.
  • I'd like yearly data, but if this only exists in longer intervals (e.g., every 10 years, like US census data), that's also good.
  • Longer time series are better - anything less than 20 years won't let me do serious out of sample testing.
  • 1
    Note: I'd say that a demographics tag would be useful for this, as for most of the 17 questions containing the word "demographics". Unfortunately, I don't have tag proposal privileges yet. Maybe someone with more rep could create the tag and tag questions as appropriate? Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 20:52
  • Be aware that most population statistics are more than likely projected in between years for a majority of smaller countries and including some larger countries.
    – Kotebiya
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 23:12

5 Answers 5


You could try a few of the following resources that I know of:

The U.S. Census Bureau's International Data Base

The U.N. Population Division also has a good resource, though it is available only in XLS format.

  • 1
    The UN Population Division is best - I can download one XLS each for males and females - all countries, by five-year age groups, estimates every five years. Thanks! Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 9:33

For UN Statistics, you will find it here. They have data per country going back to 1948. The age groups are broken down in 5 year segments.


I looked at the UN Population Division data link referenced in Kotebiya's answer. It could be the same data just packaged differently.


For Ireland between 1926 and 2006. The latest census in Ireland was in 2011 but they don't seem to have that much information yet.


Downloadable as csv and other formats.


The two best databases with population data are Human Mortality Database and Human Fertility Database. Both are run by highly professional demographers. When needed and possible, the data are harmonized. Also, both at HMD and HFD you'll find brilliant documentation. Nice thing is, they only add data for those countries for which it could be proven that the data are of high quality. You can rely on these data.

If you need just one perfect case, pretty standard in demography is to use Sweden. Their high quality data dates back to 1748! Here is the link to their statistical office, population Database. They have register data for each County from 1968!

You can easily find long series for counties at their national statistical units. Good quality data exists for sure for all Scandinavian countries.


It turns out that the US Census Bureau maintains the not-very-enlighteningly named International Data Base as per Kotebiya's answer, which indeed contains demographic information on foreign population, down to the single year of age and sex granularity - historically and with projections out to 2050. Exactly what I was looking for. For some reason, I hadn't found this granularity.

In addition, the idbr package for R allows easy download and visualization of these data. The post Japans ageing population, animated with R at R bloggers provides a nice animated example with code.

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