WDI 2017 Maps

In the World Development Indicators database (and most other time series datasets), all 189 World Bank member countries, plus 28 other economies with populations of more than 30,000, are classified so that data users can aggregate, group, and compare statistical data of interest. Groupings are primarily based on income and on the regions used for administrative purposes by the World Bank.

For the current 2017 fiscal year, low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method, of $1,025 or less in 2015; lower-middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $4,035; upper-middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,036 and $12,475; high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,476 or more.

Please click here for more information about World Bank country groups.

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With the latest publication of the World Development Indicators 2017 you will find a set of maps that highlight a key indicator for each chapter.


World view

The world population was 7.35 billion in 2015—nearly two and a half times greater than the 3 billion in 1960. The populations of East Asia and Pacific and South Asia each grew by more than a billion people, but Sub-Saharan Africa’s population expanded the fastest—to 4.4 times its size 55 years ago. The Middle East and North Africa’s population also expanded rapidly—to four times its size in 1960.

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1. Poverty and shared prosperity

The poverty headcount ratio—also referred to as the extreme poverty rate—is the share of the population living on less than $1.90 a day in 2011 purchasing power parity terms. The $1.90 a day poverty line reflects the value of national poverty lines of some of the poorest countries in the world. Consumption and income data used for estimating poverty are collected from household surveys. This map shows the country-level poverty estimates used to generate the 2013 regional and global poverty estimates, which draw on data from more than 2 million randomly sampled households, representing 87 percent of the total population in 138 low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries eligible to receive loans from the World Bank (such as Chile), and recently graduated countries (such as Estonia).

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2. People

In 2015 around 830 women a day died from ­pregnancy-related causes while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination. Worldwide the maternal mortality ratio, which indicates the level of maternal and reproductive health care that women receive, declined substantially between 1990 and 2015—from 385 deaths per 100,000 live births to 216. But it remains high—at 496 deaths per 100,000 live births—in low-income countries. The ratio is lower in lower-middle-income countries (251 deaths per 100,000 live births), upper-middle-income countries (54), and high-income countries (10). Access to maternal health care, including prenatal care services and skilled birth attendants present during delivery, is essential to prevent maternal deaths and protect newborn babies. However, nearly half of women in low-income countries still gave birth without the assistance of a professional health worker.

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3. Environment

The world’s growing population, with its desire for economic growth and a better quality of life, continues to increase demand for energy. By far the most common way to satisfy the need for energy in modern economies is to burn fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Although the share of energy production from alternative, cleaner sources has increased slightly since 1970, fossil fuels supplied about 81 percent of the world’s energy production in 2014. The burning of fossil fuels, which results in greenhouse gas emissions, is the primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate change. Producing the energy needed for growth while mitigating its effects on the world’s climate is a global challenge.

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4. Economy

Economic growth reduces poverty. Fast-growing ­middle-income countries are closing the income gap with high-income countries. But growth must be sustained over the long term, and gains must be shared to make lasting improvements to the well-being of all people. The 2007 financial crisis spread from high-income to low-income countries in 2008. A year later it became the most severe global recession in 50 years and affected sustained development around the world. The average annual growth of GDP per capita in low- and middle-income countries, while still faster than in high-income countries, slowed from 5 percent over 2000–09 (the pre-crisis period) to 3.8 percent over 2009–15 (the post-crisis period). The low- and middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa saw the largest drop: Average annual growth of GDP per capita fell 3.3 percentage points, from 3.1 percent to –0.2 percent.

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5. States and markets

The digital revolution has changed the way the world learns, communicates, does business, and treats illnesses. Information and communication technologies offer vast opportunities for progress in all walks of life in all countries­—­opportunities for economic growth, improved health, better service delivery, learning through distance education, and social and cultural advances. The Internet delivers information to schools and hospitals, improves public and private services, and increases productivity and participation. Mobile phone technology is contributing to expanded Internet access across the globe. The mobility, ease of use, flexible deployment, and declining rollout costs of wireless technologies enable mobile communications to reach rural populations. According to the International Telecommunication Union, by the end of 2016 the number of Internet users worldwide reached 3.5 billion.

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Over the past decade flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) to low- and middle-income economies have increased substantially. It has long been recognized that FDI flows can carry the benefits of knowledge and technology transfer to domestic firms and the labor force, productivity spillover, enhanced competition, and improved access for exports abroad. Moreover, they are the preferred source of capital for financing a current account deficit because FDI is non-debt-creating. Global inflows of FDI declined 20 percent in 2014, to $1.6 trillion, due mainly to a 30 percent decrease into high-income economies. Low- and middle-income economies continued to prove more resilient, with FDI inflows decreasing only 1.4 percent.

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