Good Starting Points
Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More than 400 Languages--Online. Dalby, Andrew. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
Ethnologue: Languages of the World--Online. Please note that the Library subscription does not include the interactive maps and country digests.
Languages of the World: An Introduction--Online. Asya Pereltsvaig.Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Compendium of the World's Languages. Campbell, George L. London: Routledge, 2000.
The Languages of the World. Katzner, Kenneth. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Multitree: A digital Library of Language Relationships-- a searchable database of hypotheses on language relationships.
The World's Major Languages. Ed. Comrie, Bernard. London: Croom Helm, 1987.
TIP: To find information on specific language families, search the Library Catalog using family names such as "indo-european languages".
The Atlas of Languages: the Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World. Comrie, Bernard et al., eds. Rev. ed. New York: Facts on File, 2003.
Atlas of the World's Languages. Moseley, Christopher, and Asher, R.E. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2007.
LL-Map--a digital mapping project that integrates language data and information from the physical and social sciences. Users can browse over 700 maps, or create and share their own.
Atlas of North American English Online: phonetics, phonology, and sound change: a multimedia reference tool. Labov, William, et al. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2006.
TIP: To find more linguistic atlases, search the Library Catalog using the search term "linguistic atlas" plus a specific langauge or region.
Good places to start
The CIA World Factbook Online--provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
EIU Country Intelligence (also called EIU Country Profiles)
Country Intelligence supplies in-depth analysis of current political, policy and economic trends with an 18 month outlook. Quarterly and annual statistics with at least 150 data points picked from the most reliable sources and reviewed by analysts to provide objective and impartial coverage. Equivalent coverage across over 195 countries worldwide, making it easy to compare national conditions. Country Intelligence contains country reports and profiles, risk ratings,licensing and trading information for the new economies, plus G-8 and regional forecasts.
International Data Base (IDB)
Database containing statistical tables of demographic, and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world. Provides information dating back as far as 1950 and as far ahead as 2050. From the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Programs Center.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics--The United Nation's educational, scientific, and cultural organization's list of education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication statistics.
Other Sites for Statistics
Endangered Languages Archive--this archive is part of OLAC, the Open Language Archives Community, is an international partnership of institutions and individuals who are creating a worldwide virtual library of language resources by: (i) developing consensus on best current practice for the digital archiving of language resources, and (ii) developing a network of interoperating repositories and services for housing and accessing such resources.
Open Language Archive-- is an international partnership of institutions and individuals who are creating a worldwide virtual library of language resources by: (i) developing consensus on best current practice for the digital archiving of language resources, and (ii) developing a network of interoperating repositories and services for housing and accessing such resources.
The Library offers a wide array of statistics, many of which might contain information on world languages. To find guides to Library Statistic, use the Library Homepage to search the Library Guides for "statistics."
TIP: Wikipedia: While Wikipedia is not always a reliable source, as entries are not always written by authorities, it can be an excellent place for links to authoritative websites, such as government webpages.