Tech Labs | 14 Jun 2022

API Databank – Conventions and Limits

Technology Team

Oxford Economics


The following list describes common conventions used by our API and should help to inform the construction of valid HTTP requests:

Rate limits

The Global Data Workstation imposes rate limits in order to prevent abuse and keep the service fast and accessible to everyone. Currently, it doesn’t impose a hard limit. I.e. there is no policy that will drop API requests after a certain limit is reached. However, this is subject to change, in which case requests made beyond this threshold will be rejected with a 503 Service Unavailable HTTP status.

We do employ a soft limit, which is currently around 60 requests per minute. If this limit has been reached, then a delay will be imposed on subsequent requests in order to bring down the number of requests into the rate limit window. Please note: this rate is not guaranteed and may fluctuate with server load.

The following HTTP headers are included in every API response:

Page limits

The Global Data Workstation limits the maximum number of data rows returned in a single API call to 20,000. To retrieve more data than this, you will need to use paging. See below on ‘Downloading entire databanks’.

Authorisation and variables access

Each API key is authenticated by an organisation’s subscription and provides access only to databanks and variables authorised in the subscription. Any attempt to circumvent this authorisation and/or use another organisation’s API key will be in breach of the terms and conditions of your subscription contract. The API does not return data for unauthorised variable requests, and it is throttled to prevent abuse and protect the main service.

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