World Development Indicators 2013 Released

April 18, 2013

Definitive Reference for Measuring Development Progress

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 — The 2013 edition of World Development Indicators (WDI), released today, includes the latest available data on global development, poverty, the quality of people's lives, the environment, the economy, the functioning of states and markets, and global links of finance, trade, and migration.

As World Bank Group President Jim Young Kim highlighted yesterday, new estimates of extreme poverty   show there were 1.2 billion people still living on less than $1.25 a day in 2010, a decrease of 100 million since 2008. The global rate of extreme poverty fell to 20.6 percent, less than half the 1990 rate of 43.1 percent. Thus the world as a whole has met the first Millennium Development Goal. But many individual countries have made slower progress and may fall short of the target. Progress toward other Millennium Development Goals is documented in a special 17 page introduction to the WDI.

This year’s edition has been substantially improved, with expanded highlights based on trends in key indicators, including those used to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Key indicators are shown in new selected tables, with the full set of tables now available on-line. Enhanced multilingual data access applications for the web, tablets, and mobile devices make the data easier to access. Also released today is the 2013 edition of the Little Data Book with key indicators for each economy in a pocket-sized reference.

"World Development Indicators are arguably the most important data resource for understanding development progress and I am delighted that we are bringing it out this year in a new user-friendly format,” said Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. And according to Shaida Badiee, Director of the Development Data Group, “We’ve spent a lot of effort this year on enhancing the online WDI experience,  using the most accessed dataset in the Bank’s Open Data Initiative. Our aim is simple: we want to make sure that relevant and high quality data can be used by as many people as possible.”

The WDI provides relevant and high-quality data on a wide range of development issues, including the most recent global and regional estimates on poverty. This year’s WDI includes data that show:

  • Girls have made substantial gains in school enrollment, although the average rates mask large differences across countries. In 1990, girls’ primary school enrollment rate in developing countries was only 86 percent of boys’. By 2011 it was 97 percent. Similar improvements have been made in secondary schooling, where girls’ enrollments have risen from 78 percent of boys’ to 96 percent over the same period. However at the end of 2011, only 9 low-income countries had reached or exceeded equal enrollment of girls in primary and secondary education.
  • 5 million fewer children died before their fifth birthday in 2011 compared to 1990. In low and middle-income countries the under-five mortality rate fell from an average of 95 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 56 in 2011. 41 countries are poised to reach the Millennium Development Goal target of a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality rates by 2015, and faster improvements over the last decade suggest that many countries are accelerating progress and another 25 could reach the target as soon as 2020.
  • The economies of many developing countries continued to grow faster on average than the high-income economies of Europe, Asia, and North America. In Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)  terms, India became the third largest economy in the world in 2011, behind the United States and China, and pushing Japan to the fourth spot. The other economies making up the top ten were unchanged: Germany, the Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Italy.
  • In 2011 Mongolia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the second highest rate in the world, measured at 15.7 percent, contrasting with the previous year when its 4.7 percent growth rate was only the 48th highest. The economy with the highest recorded growth rate in 2011 was the Macao Special Administrative Region of China, which grew at 18.1 percent. Other economies with GDP per capita growth rates in the top ten in 2011 were Lithuania, Latvia, Turkmenistan, Ghana, Qatar, Panama, China, and Estonia -- all with growth rates above 8 percent.
  • The economy with the lowest 2011 Gross National Income per capita (PPP) was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at $340 – some 250 times smaller than Qatar, which had a GNI per capita (PPP) of over $86,000. The other economies in the bottom ten were: Liberia, Eritrea, Burundi, Niger, the Central African Republic, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Guinea.

Tools to access, explore, and interact with the WDI 2013 are available at and include:

  • The World Bank’s main data website,, in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese
  • New on-line tables:
  • Free applications (DataFinder) for iOS and Android tablets and mobile devices, to access and explore indicators in English, French, Spanish and Chinese:
  • The popular DataBank interface to the World Bank's time-series databases: create, save, and share tables, charts and maps – and embed them in blog posts and websites. Now in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese.

Learn more about the WDI and other datasets – and discuss new ideas in our forums – at

Follow the latest news on the WDI and Open Data through our blog and Twitter account @WorldBankData

Media Contacts
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