World Bank's Open Data Initiative
The World Bank announced on April 20 that "it will offer free access to more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics that had mostly been available only to paying subscribers." Some 330 indicators are available for up to 209 countries. Some of the data go back 50 years.
The statistics are available through a new web site. The World Bank has prepared this guide for working with the data. The statistics can be searched or browsed through categories such as Countries, Topics, Indicators, and the Data Catalog. Results can be downloaded in formats such as Excel.