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World Development Indicators 2012
Public Disclosure Authorized - 68172

The WDI 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 more.
"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."

Journalists can access the material before the expiration of the embargo through the World Bank Online Media Briefing Center at:
Accredited journalists who do not already have a password may request one by completing the registration form at:
The report and related material will be available to the public on the World Wide Web immediately after the embargo expires at:

World Development Indicators 2012:

 World Development Indicators 2012 is a compilation of relevant, high-quality, and internationally comparable statistics about development and the quality of people’s lives. Organized around six themes—world view, people, the environment, the economy, states and markets, and global links—it aims to put data into the hands of policy makers, development specialists, students, and the public. We encourage and applaud the use of the data presented here to help reduce poverty and to solve the world’s most pressing development challenges.

The full dataset used to produce World Development Indicators contains more than 1,000 indicators for 216 economies, with many time series extending back to 1960. Highly visual, interactive, and multilingual presentations of the data are available at the popular website and through the DataFinder application for mobile devices. And, as a major part of the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative, the data are freely available for use and reuse under an open license. A companion printed volume, The Little Data Book 2012, presents a selection of indicators for each economy, and the biennial Statistics for Small States presents data for less-populated developing countries.

This 16th edition of World Development Indicators relies heavily on statistics produced by national authorities and agencies. Since the fi rst edition in 1997, there has been a substantial increase in the availability and quality of the data, thanks to improvements in statistical capacity in many countries. More remains to be done: the capacity to use statistical data remains weak; demand is growing for greater disaggregation of indicators (for instance by sex, age, or geography); and data in some key areas, such as agriculture, are often missing or outdated. A new global statistical action plan (, endorsed in November 2011 at the highest political levels at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, provides an important framework to address remaining challenges, to integrate statistics into decision making, to promote open access to data and improve their use, and to increase resources for statistical systems.

World Development Indicators is possible only through the excellent collaboration of many partners who provide the data for this collection, and I would like to thank them all: the United Nations family, the International Monetary Fund, the International Telecommunication Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the statistical offices of more than 200 economies, and countless others whose support and advice have made this unique product possible.

As always, we welcome your ideas for making the data in World Development Indicators useful and relevant for improving the lives of people around the world.

Shaida Badiee - Director
Development Economics Data Group

--World Development Indicators
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--World Development Reports
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-- Selected World Development
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