World Development Report 2024


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World Development Report 2024: Economic Growth in Middle Income Countries will explore the challenges of economic growth in middle-income countries. Using the World Bank’s income classification, the world currently comprises of 26 low-income, 108 middle-income, and 83 high-income economies. With about 75 percent of the world’s population, middle-income countries now account for about 40 percent of global economic activity, 50 percent of the world’s extremely poor people, and 60 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Between 1990 and 2019, 31 middle-income countries transitioned to high income. Ten of them, such as Hungary and Poland, benefited by joining the European Union—whose economic model is characterized by vigorous trade and capital flows, freer enterprise, and social inclusion—during a period of healthy growth in Europe’s advanced economies. Others such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had the good fortune of being endowed with natural resources and timing policy reforms to coincide with high commodity prices. The rest, mostly economies in East Asia such as South Korea and Taiwan, China, grew to high income through difficult land reforms, early investments in education, postponing gratification by saving a lot and keeping imports artificially expensive, and becoming progressively more open to trade and investment relations with advanced economies.

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