The World Bank Group on 11 April 2016 released the 2016 edition of the World Development Indicators (WDI). WDI is the most widely used dataset and provides high-quality cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe.
WDI now includes 1400 indicators for over 200 economies.
Key features of WDI 2016
WDI has gone from the MDGs to the SDGs
The 2016 edition includes indicators to help measure the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs build on the 8 goals and 18 targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were focused in the previous editions.
For each of the 17 SDGs the World View section of the publication includes recent trends and baselines against key targets. Some of the key trends against their target are:
• While undernourishment has been halved globally since 1990, over a quarter of the population in low-income countries still can’t meet their dietary energy requirements.
• Good records of births and deaths are key to delivering government programs and services, but in Sub-Saharan Africa, fewer than half of children’s births were recorded in 2011.
• While some regions have increased forest coverage, Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa lost 97 and 83 million hectares respectively since 1990.
• Since the 1980s there has been a dramatic rise in aquaculture - fish, shellfish, and seaweed farming.
WDI 2016 no longer distinguishes between developing and developed countries
In WDI 2016, there is no longer a distinction between developing countries (defined in previous editions as low- and middle-income countries) and developed countries (previously high-income countries).
Regional groupings are now based on geographical coverage rather than a sub-set of countries that were previously referred to as developing. Two inferences of this change are that a new aggregate for North America has been included in tables, and aggregates for Europe and Central Asia include countries of the European Union.
WDI 2016 includes 1.90 US dollars/day extreme poverty line
WDI 2016 now includes the estimates of global and national extreme poverty rates at the international poverty line of 1.90 US dollars/day per person. These show that 13 percent of the global population lived in extreme poverty in 2012, down from 37 percent in 1990.
WDI also includes the estimates of indicators of shared prosperity for 94 countries published in the Bank’s Shared Prosperity database.
In addition to poverty measurement, the updated 2011 benchmark PPP data have been used to estimate PPP conversion factors for 2014, and 2014 estimates of GDP in PPP terms.
Read More on What, Why and How of new International Poverty Line $1.90?
WDI is part of a global effort to produce a global public good
Producing WDI is only possible with the help of over 50 international organizations, more than 200 national statistical offices and the experts in the country offices of the World Bank.
But only a few of the 169 targets in the Sustainable Development Goals can currently be tracked and measured completely. For this, both the governments and the development partners will need to continue investing in national statistical systems where much of the data will continue to originate.
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