Global Financial Data has historical data on individual bonds beginning in 1729 when Britain consolidated its outstanding debt, bonds, annuities, and other securities into a single 3% Consolidated Bond. During the 1800s, almost every major country in the world issued government bonds which traded on the London Stock Exchange.
GFD has carefully collected historical price data on bonds that traded in London and New York, as well as Paris, Vienna and Berlin between the 1720s and the 1970s. Information on coupon payments was obtained for each country keeping track of when coupons were fully paid, partially paid or omitted, when bondholders were forced to convert to a new bond at a lower price, and when a country completely defaulted on its bonds.
GFD uses the data on individual sovereign bonds to create price indices, return indices and yields for over 50 countries using the price of internal bonds, or of external bonds when no domestically traded bond existed.
Global Financial Data aggregated the bond indices of different countries into 20 international bond indices organized by geographic region. These indices are weighted by GDP with weights changing every decade. This includes a World bond index and a World excluding the USA bond index. The result is the most comprehensive historical database of bond indices available anywhere.