For a better understanding of the world of raw materials

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Background and Data is an online portal for national material flow data and state of the art visualisations and analyses hosted by Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna).

The website is based on the UN IRP Global Material Flows Database. Data and visualisations cover more than 200 countries, the time period of 1970 to 2024, and more than 300 different materials aggregated into 13 categories of material flows. The years 2022 to 2024 are estimated based upon economic proxies.

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Our user stories present selected examples of MFA in practice. If you have your own story to tell, let us know how our website helped you.

The Visualisation Centre is the access point to a large variety of interactive visualisations and related analyses.

Use the explanatory videos to find the section best suiting your requirements.

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The most relevant analyses of global material use are presented in informative stories.
Get an overview of your topic of interest including related interactive visualisations.


Global Material Flows Database

Visualisations and analyses featured on this website are based upon the UN IRP Global Material Flows Database. For bulk data downloads refer to the database portal of the IRP.

Collaborators is kindly supported by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.

The FINEPRINT project develops a new method for assessing global material flows using high geographical resolution and relating global supply chains with their associated environmental and social impacts.

Resource Watch features hundreds of data sets all in one place on the state of the planet’s resources and citizens. These data are used to visualize challenges facing people and the planet.


Data on national and global material flows are gaining relevance for informing strategies and campaigns of different stakeholders.

In 2016, an expert team publishes an assessment report for the UN Environment International Resource Panel called "Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity". For the report a MFA dataset is used which had been compiled to large extent on the basis of the data underlying
United Nations
The study “The Global Resource Footprint of Nations (2014)”, produced as part of the European FP7 research project CREEA, uses data from to calculate material footprints for various countries and regions around the world.
In 2018, the German Environment Agency (UBA) publishes its report "The Use of Natural resources - Report for Germany 2018".

Data from are used for the analyses of international interconnections of Germany in the world.
Policy makers
As a collaboration with the international Friends of the Earth network campaigns on sustainable resource use and supply chain management are supported by analyses building on global material flow data from

Test your knowledge in our Quiz

Do you want to get an insight in trends and drivers of global resource use and have fun at the same time? Try out our Quiz.