Countries of the world

Where can I find information about the different countries in the world?

Image: [no title] by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 15/11/17

Introduction

Countries will be distinguished by their history, politics, people, culture, economy, beliefs or religion, language and geography.

General websites

There are a number of websites giving basic facts and more detailed information. Often you will find it presented in different formats, some of which will allow for comparisons.

Countries of the World - Factmonster

An online encyclopedia and homework site, this is a good starting point for all sorts of questions about countries. It has the advantage of setting out the information in a similar layout for each country and includes a list of dependencies.

Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

CIA World Factbook

This factbook provides more detail on the history, geography, economy and other issues for over 260 countries.

To find the information, you can:

  • use the map to find the country you are looking for, or
  • select the country you want from the drop-down menu (where it says Please select a country to view).

You can then choose from a range of subject headings for more information. Each main entry includes a small map and a selection of photographs.

Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

BBC

This is a well respected news organisation providing reliable and up to date information via its country profile pages.

  • Enter the country name in the search box on the BBC News page.
  • Each entry includes a timeline as well as links to other country profiles.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade interacts with other governments on behalf of the New Zealand Government. You can choose from a list of continents and regions and use the links on the resulting maps for more information, including details of New Zealand’s relationship with the country and trade statistics.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

EPIC resources

EPIC is a collection of reliable resources covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Britannica School

This encyclopedia has entries for each country follow a standard format with headings for Geography, People, Culture, Economy and History; there is also a brief country profile giving a range of basic facts.

  1. Hover your cursor over the Middle heading.
  2. Type your country name in the search box.

You can change the information to an easier or more advanced level by using the article reading level tabs, found at the top of the article. Selecting the Middle option also allows you to carry out a 2 country comparison - just enter the country names into the search box.

Student Resources In Context

This database brings together lots of information which follows the same format for each country.

  1. Click on view all in the Geography section.
  2. Choose from the list of countries.
  3. Use the 'view more options' link for extended general information.

Pictures and videos

These can be a valuable resource, especially when looking at the geographical features of a country.

Britannica School

One of the EPIC resources, Britannica School has a a good selection of images which can be found by selecting the Images and video tab on the first page of the country article.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

National Geographic

National Geographic is known worldwide for its illustrated magazine and the website has a good range of images and videos for many countries. Entering a country name into the search box results in a further listing from which you can choose a link to view photos and pictures.

Books

Your school library and local public library will have a variety of almanacs and fact books. Here are some suggested titles for you to check:

Some publishers have also produced a series of children's books on different countries and you may like to ask about the availability of these. These usually follow a similar format and layout allowing for easy comparisons.

SCIS no: 1832659

managed by
proudly supported by

Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)


We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.