Indicators 2010 Opens Data to Measure Progress
20, 2010 — The World Development Indicators (WDI)
2010, released today, gives a statistical progress toward
achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
database, launched along with the World Bank’s Open Data initiative to
provide free data to all users, includes more than 900 indicators
documenting the state of all the world’s economies. The WDI
covers education, health, poverty, environment, economy, trade, and much
"The WDI provides
a valuable statistical picture of the world and how far we've come in
advancing development," said Justin Yifu Lin, the World
Bank’s Chief Economist and the Senior Vice President for Development
Economics. “Making this comprehensive data free for all
is a dream come true."
This year’s WDI focuses on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), now in
their 10th year. It shows that considerable progress has been made in
reaching these challenging goals. Despite the economic and financial crisis
that has swept over the globe, the target to reduce by half the proportion
of people living in extreme poverty is still within reach in several
developing regions. Home to the most people living on less than $1.25 a day,
Asia has accounted for much of this remarkable achievement. Sub-Saharan
Africa meanwhile remains off track to meet the income poverty goal.
But progress has been
uneven at the country level. Only 49 of 87 countries with data are on track
to achieve the poverty target. Some 41 percent of the people in low- and
middle-income countries live in countries that are unlikely to achieve the
target. And 12 percent live in the 60 countries for which there are
insufficient data to assess progress.
“An important part
of the World Bank’s strategy for fighting poverty is improving the
statistical systems in developing countries. Governments, citizens, and aid
agencies need reliable statistics to shape their policies,” said Shaida
Badiee, director of the Development Data Group that
produces the World Development Indicators.
Highlights from the 2010 WDI
world economy grew by 2.8 percent in 2008 measured in purchasing
power parity terms, down from 5.0 percent in 2007. Low- and
middle-income economies grew faster than high-income economies,
increasing their share of world output by more than a percentage point
to 43.3 percent.
fell in almost every region under the impact of the global recession.
South Asia was the only exception. Developing economies now account for
33 of merchandise exports and 21 percent of service exports. But
low-income economies are largely left out, providing only 1 percent of
- The MDGs call for all
children to be able to complete primary school by 2015. This goal is
close to being achieved. At the end of the 2007 school year, 7 out of 10
people in the developing world lived in countries that have achieved
full primary school enrollment or are on track to do so. Still this
leaves 72 million primary school-age children not enrolled, most of them
in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
opportunities for girls have expanded everywhere, but gender gaps remain
large in low-income economies, especially at the primary and secondary
women are in the workforce, although they are more likely than men to be
in vulnerable jobs, without regular salaries or benefits.
women are entering national parliaments. The largest gains have been
made in South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, where women now
occupy more than 20 percent of the seats.
immunization rates, better management of diarrheal diseases, and malaria
prevention programs have all contributed to falling mortality rates for
children under age five. In developing countries, the child mortality
rate declined from 101 per 1,000 in 1990 to 73 in 2008.
countries, representing 45 percent of the population of developing
countries have achieved or are on track to achieve a two-thirds
reduction in child mortality before 2015.
estimates of maternal mortality, which became available after the WDI
went to press, show substantial decreases in maternal deaths for the
first time since setting the fifth MDG target of a 75 percent reduction
in the mortality ratio from levels prevailing in 1990. Official
estimates from the United Nations later this year are likely to confirm
proportion of pregnant women who had at least one antenatal visit rose
from 64 percent in 1990 to 79 percent in 2008. But the proportion who
had the recommended four or more visits is still less than 50 percent in
South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where most maternal and infant deaths
HIV infections have fallen by 17 percent since 2000, and wider access to
antiretroviral treatment has contributed to the first decline in AIDS
deaths since the epidemic began. But there are still 33.4 million people
– two-thirds of them in Sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV/AIDS and
most of them women.
prevalence has fallen, but the target of halving the 1990 prevalence
rate by 2015 is unlikely to be met. In 2007 there were 13.7 million
cases globally, down only slight from 2006.
were nearly 1 million malaria-related deaths in 2006. Ninety percent of
malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, and most are children under
age 5. Progress has been made in scaling up the use of
insecticide-treated bed nets among children, which rose from 2 percent
in 2000 to 20 percent in 2006.
forest losses since 1990 have been substantial but recent data show a
slowing in the global rate of deforestation. In East Asia, China has
added to its forest cover by converting marginal crop lands.
economies have become more efficient in their use of energy, reducing
carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP produced, carbon dioxide
emissions per capita continue to rise.
people have access to improved (protected and accessible) water sources,
and at least 65 developing countries are on track to reduce by half the
proportion of people lacking access to water source. But more than 1.5
billion people lack access to toilets, latrines and other forms of
improved sanitation and there has been little improvement since 1990.
flows from the member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee have
increases – from $69 billion in 2000 to $122 billion in 2008 – but
even with further increases in 2009 and 2010 they will fall short of the
pledges made five years ago.
debt management, trade expansion, and, for the poorest countries,
substantial debt relief have reduced the burden of debt service.
tariffs have been falling and countries are trading more freely, but
many obstacles remain for developing country exporters. Some are imposed
by their trading partners – such as high peak tariffs applied
selectively to certain good and subsidies paid by rich countries to
domestic agricultural producers – and some are the result of poor
infrastructure and inefficiencies that limit the ability of developing
countries to compete in the global market place.
In addition to the print
edition, the full WDI database is available on the Web through data.worldbank.org
or on CD-ROM. Several ‘Little Data Books’, which provide key data on a
range of topics, are also available. An Atlas of Global Development is also
can access the material before the expiration of the embargo through the
World Bank Online Media Briefing Center at: http://media.worldbank.org/secure
Accredited journalists who do not already have a password may request
one by completing the registration form at: http://media.worldbank.org/
The report and related material will be available to the public on the
World Wide Web immediately after the embargo expires at: http://www.worldbank.org/data/wdi