The Small States Supplement 2011 is a supplement to the World Development Indicators 2011 and presents data for developing member countries of the Small States Forum. This special supplement covers critical development factors within Small States. The data in this supplement covers 41 members of the Small States Forum excluding the high-income countries of Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Malta, Qatar, and San Marino.
In 2000, the World Bank made a commitment to organize a Small States Forum each year in the context of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Annual Meetings. The Forum is intended to raise the profile of small states issues and provide an opportunity for small state officials to bring their views and ideas to the attention of the international community. Forty-eight World Bank members comprise the Small States Forum, all but five having populations below 1.5 million. These countries are all included in the World Development Indicators database, but countries with populations of less than one million do not appear in the main tables of the print publication.
Small states have many development challenges and vulnerabilities, including:
- remoteness and isolation—high transport costs and small domestic markets
- limited diversification—low resource base and limited range of production and exports
- openness—broad exposure to events in global markets
- susceptibility to natural disasters and environmental change—hurricanes, cyclones, droughts, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis that typically affect entire small state populations
- limited capacity—high fixed costs for public services and diseconomies of scale
Although the economies of many small states were adversely affected by the global financial crisis, contracting 1.6 percent in 2009, growth has resumed in several small states. In 2010, they grew about 2.3 percent. With the exception of Gambia, Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago, all small states posted current account deficits in their balance of payments in 2009.
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