OECD Factbook 2009

Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics

image of OECD Factbook 2009

OECD Factbook 2009 is the fifth edition of a comprehensive and dynamic statistical annual from the OECD.  More than 100 indicators cover a wide range of areas: economy, agriculture, education, energy, environment, foreign aid, health and quality of life, industry, information and communications, population/labour force, trade and investment, taxation, public expenditure and R&D. This year, the OECD Factbook features a focus chapter on inequality. Data are provided for all OECD member countries with area totals, and in some cases, for selected non-member economies.


For each indicator, there is a two-page spread.  A text page includes a short introduction followed by a detailed definition of the indicator, comments on comparability of the data, an assessment of long-term trends related to the indicator, and a list of references for further information on the indicator.  The next page contains a table and a graph providing - at a glance - the key message conveyed by the data.  A dynamic link (StatLink) is provided for each table directing the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

OECD Factbook 2009 is a key reference tool for everyone working on economic and policy issues.

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Share of trade in GDP

International trade in goods and services is a principal channel of economic integration. A convenient way to measure the importance of international trade is to calculate the share of trade in GDP.

International trade tends to be more important for countries that are small (in terms of geographic size or population) and surrounded by neighboring countries with open trade regimes than for large, relatively self-sufficient countries or those that are geographically isolated and thus penalised by high transport costs. Other factors also play a role and help explain differences in trade-to-GDP ratios across countries, such as history, culture, trade policy, the structure of the economy (especially the weight of non-tradable services in GDP), re-exports and the presence of multinational firms, which leads to much intra-firm trade.

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