Basic API Call Structures

The Indicators API supports two basic ways to build queries: a URL based structure and an argument based structure. For example, the following two requests will return the same data, a list of countries with income level classified as low income:

Query Strings

Requests support the following query strings.

Date and Date-Range: Date-range by year, month or quarter that scopes the result-set.


A range is indicated using the colon (:) separator.


Requests additionally support year-to-date values (YTD), which is useful for querying high frequency data.

Output Format: API supports the following four output formats.

Download Format: API supports the following three download formats.

Page: For paging through large result-sets. This allows users to indicate the page number requested from the record-set.

Per_page: For determining the number of results per page. The default setting is 50 results per page.

MRV: fetches most recent values based on the number specified.

MRNEV: For fetching most recent non-empty values based on the number specified.

Gap-fill: (Y/N) Works with MRV. 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)

Frequency: For fetching quarterly (Q), monthly (M) or yearly (Y) values. This feature currently works along with MRV. This query string is useful for querying high frequency data.

Multiple Indicators Usage: Multiple indicators data can be queried from a single data source by providing the indicator codes separated by ";" (semicolon), as well as the source ID.

Note: A maximum of 60 indicators can be used. A maximum of 1,500 characters are allowed between two back-slashes (/). A maximum of 4,000 characters are allowed in the entire URL.

Footnote: For fetching footnote detail in data calls. "footnote=y" gives the footnote value for country, indicator and year.


The following returns all of the supported languages by World bank API v2:

When no language is specified English is assumed. The following languages are available:

Code Language
en English
es Spanish
fr French
ar Arabic
zh Chinese

Local Languages

Some countries are translated in their local languages. Any call to the API can be prefixed with a language code to retrieve localized results. The following local languages are available:

Code Language
bg Bulgarian
de German
hi Hindi
id Indonesian
ja Japanese
km Khmer
ko Korean
mk Macedonian
mn Mongolian
pl Polish
pt Portuguese
ro Romanian
ru Russian
sq Albanian
th Thai
tr Turkish
uk Ukrainian
vi Vietnamese

For example, to retrieve the country name of Vietnam in Vietnamese language you would use the following query:

Note: The translated local language country names are not available for all the countries.


Range: Use a colon “:” to indicate a range (for numeric values only). For example, “5:10” calls numeric value range from 5 to 10.

** Logical AND:** Use a semicolon “;” to represent logical “AND” For example, “us;ge” calls United States AND Georgia.


Retrieving indicator data about countries is one common use of the API.

For example, the following is a call for 2006 data on the GDP of Brazil:

Response Format

By default, all requests will respond with valid XML. To receive the response in JSON format, provide “format=json” in any request.

Sample valid request response:

<wb:sources xmlns:wb="" page="1" pages="1" per_page="50" total="30">
<wb:source id="11">
	<wb:name>Africa Development Indicators</wb:name>

Sample invalid request response:


<wb:error xmlns:wb="">
<wb:message id="150" key="Language is not yet supported in the API">Response requested in an unsupported language.</wb:message>


<wb:error xmlns:wb="">
<wb:message id="120" key="Invalid value">The provided parameter value is not valid</wb:message>

Note: See “Error Codes” for a full listing of possible errors.


You cannot currently sort any requests. Generally results are returned in a reasonable order (i.e. alpha), but that order cannot be controlled.

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