The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the World Bank's premier annual
compilation of data about development. WDI 2001 includes 800 indicators in 85 tables,
organized in six sections: worldview, people, environment, economy, states and markets,
and global links.
This version of WDI 2001 is for
class room use only:
1.- Introductory information. Preface. Table of Contents. User
2.- World View. Progress toward
the international development goals.
3.- People. Gender, Health, and
4.- Environment. Natural
resources and environmental changes.
5.- Economy. New opportunities for
6.- States and Markets. Digital
7.- Global Links. Evidence on
8.- Methodology and Bibliography. Statistical
methods, data documentation, Bibliography.
For four years the World Development Indicators has reported on progress toward the international
development goals. While the challenge is immense, the prospects for success in some areas are improving.
Between 1990 and 1998 the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from 29 to 23 percent
and in China the number in extreme poverty fell by almost 150 million. In Liberia the rate of infant deaths
dropped from 155 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 113 in 1998, and at least 25 other developing coun-
tries lowered infant mortality rates fast enough to reach the goal for 2015. This is some of the good news.
But other data are more sobering. Despite remarkable success in some countries, none of the inter-
national development goals for health and education is likely, on present trends, to be achieved at the
global level. We are not likely to achieve a two-thirds decline in infant and under-five mortality or a three-
fourths decline in maternal mortality. And we are not likely to have universal primary education by 2015.
With less than 15 years to reach the goals, it is time for renewed and vigorous efforts to make
good on our commitment to free our fellow men, women, and children from the cruel grip of poverty.
That means action by rich and poor alike.
At a time of unprecedented prosperity in developed countries, it is simply unacceptable that more than
one child of seven in Africa will die before his or her fifth birthday. Now is the time for a concerted appeal
to the heads of government of major aid donors to make clear, once and for all, that development assis-
tance is a vital investment in global peace and security. We must remind them that their current levels
of aid, at some 0.24 percent of gross national income, fall far short of the 0.7 percent target many promised
to meet. That shortfall is $100 billion a year—for millions of children the difference between life and death.
Rich countries must also open their markets and reduce their agricultural subsidies. In 1995 tar-
iffs in high-income countries cost developing countries more than $40 billion. Nontariff barriers and
other forms of trade protection at least double that cost—far in excess of the value of official devel-
opment assistance at $59 billion. Working with developing countries, we must also push ahead with
debt relief. Last year we reached agreements that will bring $34 billion in debt service relief to 22
poor countries. That relief, with its focus on poverty reduction, gives some of the poorest countries
the means and incentives to make real progress in their fight to reduce poverty.
In all these issues we must be judged by results. That is why the statistics in the World Develop-
ment Indicatorsare so important. They remind us that in our work with governments we must widen
the focus beyond growth. We must reduce infant, child, and maternal mortality and increase access
to education, nutrition, and health care. And we must sustain the benefits that flow from the envi-
ronment for future generations. That is what development is truly about. Knowledge and hard facts
can help us do this, and that is why the World Development Indicatorsis such an important tool.
James D. Wolfensohn
The World Bank Group