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This page is a collection of data visualizations from the World Bank using open data.

17 statistics for World Statistics Day (and why we need to invest in them)

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Today’s celebration of World Statistics Day comes right after Sunday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, last month’s UN General Assembly agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals and the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.  

A common thread? Better data leads to better lives.

World Statistics Day celebrates the role of statistics, the institutions and individuals that produce them, and the impact they have in designing and monitoring the policies and services that can improve people’s wellbeing.

The World Bank’s commitment to improve statistics and fill data gaps


There are some big gaps in country-level data - gaps in what we know. We consider this “data deprivation”  an overlooked dimension of poverty. That’s why we’re working with our partners to identify priority investments to close these gaps.

The areas we’ll initially focus on include: ensuring universal civil registration of births and deaths; improving economic statistics; expanding the coverage of household surveys in the world’s poorest countries; and taking advantage of new technologies and data sources to improve data production and use.  

Statistics are vital. We’re working to make them better, so they can be used better.

So without further ado, my colleages around the Bank have put together 17 statistics that stand out for them  - some you may know, some you may not, all of them related to the Sustainable Development Goals:

How do you access data on poverty?

Tariq Khokhar's picture

End Poverty Day tomorrow comes among heightened discussion about poverty’s causes, its measurement and what we can do to end it.   

The international extreme poverty line has been updated to $1.90/day, the recent Global Monitoring Report projects that the number of people living below this line will fall below 10% this year, and the Bank has just announced it’s stepping up efforts to boost data collection in the poorest countries, many of which suffer from “data deprivation”.

New Poverty Data Widget

These headlines are great, but how do you actually get to the data? If you want to quickly find how many people live below the international poverty line in a given country, you can use and embed this new widget that’s connected to the World Bank’s PovCalNet database:

4 more ways of accessing poverty data

Here are some other tools I find useful for accessing poverty data:

Data Lab Link Roundup: $1.90/day, haunted by big data, probability by profession, Bokeh, years left to live, and the statistical life of Martians

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Here are some things that recently caught our attention:

  • Like me, David Evans is a fan of “The Martian” - Andy Weir’s hit novel that’s just received the hollywood treatment. In the story, hundreds of millions are spent trying to bring astronaut Mark Watney home from Mars. David quotes Richard Thaler who notes  “we rarely allow any identified life to be extinguished solely for the lack of money. But of course thousands of “unidentified” people die every day for lack of simple things like mosquito nets, vaccines, or clean water.” More on why the difference between an “identified life” and a “statistical life” matters.


Record number of forcibly displaced people has reached 60 million worldwide, data show

Leila Rafei's picture

As we continue to see headlines and editorials almost every day about migrants and refugees, it's not surprising when UNHCR reports that the number of forcibly displaced people has reached 60 million worldwide for the first time since World War II. This figure includes internally displaced people, refugees, and asylum seekers.

While many are on the move as refugees, others migrate willfully at rates that have also reached unprecedented levels. Below, I've explored some trends in regional, country- and economic-level migration and refugee data. But first: What's the difference between a migrant and a refugee?

According to UNHCR, a refugee is any person who has been forced to flee their country of origin because of a fear of persecution. A migrant, on the other hand, is one who leaves their country voluntarily for reasons such as employment, study, or family reunification. A migrant is still protected by their own government while abroad, while a refugee lacks protection from their country of origin.

Data Lab Link Roundup: Statistics for hackers, the Moebio framework, data podcasts and a new proof of the Pythagorean theorem

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Here are some things that caught our attention last week:

  • “If you can write a for-loop you can do statistical analysis” says Jake Vanderplas in his fine presentation on “Statistics for Hackers”. While there are a lot of “statistics for x kind of person” tutorials, I like this one for using fairly intuitive computation approaches.



  • On a sad note, Jake Brewer died suddenly this weekend. A model public servant,  he was a huge believer in the power of civic technology to improve people’s lives, and I count myself among the thousands of people inspired by his work and thinking.


Data Lab Link Roundup: Targeting ads with DNA, data physicalization, AWS in plain English, the True Size of Countries, Every Noise at Once, and stop using VLOOKUP

Tariq Khokhar's picture

And we’re back! Here are some things that caught our attention last week:

The future of the world’s population in 4 charts

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Last week, the UN released updated population figures and projections. I just had a chance to go through them and the great key findings document (PDF, 1MB) that accompanies them.

But before I dive in, how accurate are these projections? What kind of track record do UN demographers have? The most comprehensive answer I could find was Nico Keilman’s 2001 paper which Hans Rosling refers to in this video. He notes that in 1958, when the UN projected the population in 2000 to be ~6 Billion (it was then 42 years into the future) they ended up being out by less than 5%. The short answer is: these projections are pretty good.

OK, back to the new data released in 2015: here are some of the trends that stand out for me. Note that I’m using the UN’s regional groupings rather than the World Bank’s

1) The world’s population is projected to reach 11.2 billion in 2100


There are 7.3 billion people alive today and while the world’s population continues to grow, it’s growing more slowly than in the past. We can expect to see an additional billion people added over the next 15 years, and about a billion more 10 years later, reaching a total population of 9.7 billion in 2050.

Data Lab Link Roundup: Dat goes Beta, visualizing machine learning, a clinical trial simulator, the Hadleyverse, and a standard deviation puzzle

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Here are some things that caught our attention last week: