The GovLab Index: Open Data (Updated)

Please find below the latest installment in The GovLab Index series, inspired by Harper’s Index. “The GovLab Index: Open Data” provides an update on our previous Open Data installment, and highlights global trends in Open Data and the release of public sector information.

Previous installments of the Index include Prizes and Challenges, Measuring Impact with Evidence, The Data Universe, Participation and Civic Engagement and Trust in Institutions. Please share any additional statistics and research findings on the intersection of technology in governance with us by emailing shruti at

Value and Impact

Public Views on and Use of Open Government Data in the US

  • Percentage of Americans who have “used the internet to find data or information pertaining to government”: 65%
  • How many Americans think the federal government shares data very or somewhat effectively with the public: 44%
  • How many Americans “could think of an example where local government did not provide enough useful information about data and information to the public”: 19%
  • Percentage of Americans who have “used government sources to find information about student or teacher performance”: 20%
    • Those who have used government sources “to look for information on the performance of hospitals or health care providers”: 17%
    • To find out about contracts between governmental agencies and external firms: 7%

Efforts and Involvement

  • Number of U.S. based companies identified by the GovLab that use government data in innovative ways: 500+
  • Number of Mexican companies and NGOs being identified by the GovLab and the Federal Government of Mexico that use open government data: 100
  • Number of open data initiatives worldwide in 2009: 2
    • Number of open data initiatives worldwide in 2013: over 300
  • Number of open government data portals worldwide in 2015: nearly 400
  • Number of cities globally that participated in 2015 International Open Data Hackathon Day: 222, up from 102 in 2013
  • Number of countries with Open Data sites in 2015 according to 45
    • Number of U.S. cities with Open Data Sites in 2015: 46
    • U.S. states with open data initiatives in 2015: 39
  • Membership growth in the Open Government Partnership from launch in 2011 until 2015: from 8 to 65 countries
  • Number of time series indicators (GDP, foreign direct investment, life expectancy, internet users, etc.) in the World Bank Open Data Catalog: over 8,000
  • Number of countries surveyed by the Open Data Barometer in 2015: 86, up from 77 in 2013
  • How many of the 86 countries in the Barometer publish data on government spending in 2015: 8%
    • On government contracts: 6%
    • On ownership of companies: 3%
    • On performance of health services: 7%
    • On performance of education services: 12%
  • How many of the 1,290 datasets surveyed for the Barometer met the criteria of being truly open: 10%, up from 7% in 2013
  • How many of 77 countries surveyed by the Open Data Barometer have some form of Open Government Data Initiative in 2013: over 55%
    • How many Open Government Data initiatives have dedicated resources with senior level political backing: over 25%
  • How many countries are listed in the Global Open Data Index in 2015: 97, up from 60 in 2013
    • How many of the 970 key datasets in the Index are open in 2015: 106, up from 87 in 2013
    • Top three countries in the Global Open Data Index ranking in 2014: United Kingdom, Denmark, France
      • Ranking of the US in 2014: 8th, down from 2nd in 2013
  • The different levels of Open Data Certificates a data user or publisher can achieve “along the way to world-class open data”: 4 levels, Raw, Pilot, Standard and Expert
  • The number of data ecosystems categories identified by the OECD: 3, data producers, infomediaries, and users
  • Number of stories about the impact of open data crowdsourced by the Sunlight Foundation in May 2015: over 140

Examining Datasets

  • How many datasets have been made open by governments worldwide: more than 1 million
  • Number of datasets on the U.S. site in May 2015: 132,088
  • How many released key datasets are truly open for re-use and can be used to hold government accountable, stimulate enterprise, and promote better social policy: fewer than 1 in 10
  • Percentage of datasets published in both machine-readable forms and under open licenses: less than 7%
  • Number of datasets on the Australian government’s open data website that were found to be unusable: one-third
  • Out of 23 countries surveyed by Capgemini, those who share comprehensive data that includes both breadth and granularity: 22%
    • Those who lacked enhanced search capabilities: over 60%
    • Countries who share data that is not regularly updated: 96%
    • Those who are not utilizing user participation capabilities: 87%
    • Average score of evidence of impact in 43 countries with some form of open data policy: 1.7 out of 10
    • Percentage of impact questions for which no evidence could be found: 45%


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