Transparency and accountability in government actions are increasingly recognized as central to economic development and political stability. Where citizens know the rules that govern their society and have a role in shaping them, they are more likely to comply with those rules. Corruption is lower and the quality of regulation is higher. In addition, citizen access to the government rulemaking process is central for the creation of a business environment in which investors make long-range plans and investments.
Among the 185 countries sampled by the Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance, 138 notify the general public of a proposed new regulation before its adoption. Most countries that give notice are either high income OECD economies or located in the European and Central Asia region.
Political instability, corruption, & unreliable electricity are the key impediments to firms’ growth in the Middle East and North Africa according to 6,000 firms surveyed across Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine and Yemen. Read more in "What's Holding Back the Private Sector in MENA?"
Land protection laws are an important conservation strategy that help to preserve natural habitats and biodiversity. Globally, the share of the world's land under protection has doubled since 1990, and Latin America has the most land within protected areas of any region of the world. Read more.
Nepal is a country full of untapped potential, but several obstacles stand in its way of becoming a more modern and globally connected economy. Outdated trade and investment policies hurt exporters especially and make it difficult for them to reach markets in developed countries. A new World Bank Group report takes stock of current participation in global markets and makes recommendations on how the country can increase trade integration and boost its economy.
India is home to the largest number of poor people in the world, as well as the largest number of people who have recently escaped poverty. Despite an emerging middle class, many of India’s people are still vulnerable to falling back into poverty, making the country uniquely placed to drive global poverty reduction. In the last few weeks, a new blog series analyzed publicly available data to better understand what has driven poverty reduction from the mid-1990s until 2012, and the potential pathways that can lead to a more prosperous India. Learn more
Over half a million people were killed by intentional homicide in 2012, while in 2014 there were more than one hundred thousand battle-related deaths. Episodes of such violence and unrest can reverse development efforts and rapidly dismantle achievements built over a long time, along social, political economy, and physical dimensions.
Many countries are struggling to improve national learning averages in core subjects such as reading, mathematics and science. While the majority of students reach the lowest international benchmark level in core subjects by the age of 14 or 15, a significant proportion do not. For those that fail, they are unlikely to be able to master these skills by the end of their schooling. This will impact on their ability to join the labor force and have productive jobs. Sustainable Development Goal 4 looks to “ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” in an attempt to widen the talents of a country’s future workforce and set the stage for increased economic growth. Education assessments, while not wholly comparable, shed light on countries’ achievements or gaps in the provision of a high quality and effective education system.
A third of the world’s population is under 20 years old. But some countries are younger than others. In around 40 African countries, over 50% the population is under 20. By contrast, in 30 richer countries, less than 20% of the population is under 20.
Each year on July 1, the analytical classification of the world's economies based on estimates of gross national income (GNI) per capita for the previous year is revised. As of 1 July 2016, low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method, of $1,025 or less in 2015; lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $4,035; upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,036 and $12,475; high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,476 or more. The updated GNI per capita estimates are also used as input to the World Bank's operational guidelines that determines lending eligibility.
Changes in classification
The country and lending groups page provides a complete list of economies classified by income, region, and lending status. The classification tables include all World Bank members, plus all other economies with populations of more than 30,000. Please note, regions include economies at all income levels. The term country, used interchangeably with economy, does not imply political independence but refers to any territory for which authorities report separate social or economic statistics. Click here for information about how the World Bank classifies countries. The updated World Development Indicators database, GNI per capita data, and income-level aggregations will be available at data.worldbank.org from Tuesday July 5th.
Below you will find the list of countries with new income groups.
|Economy||Old group||New group|
|Equatorial Guinea||High||Upper middle|
|Georgia||Lower middle||Upper middle|
|Guyana||Lower middle||Upper middle|
|Mongolia||Upper middle||Lower middle|
|Russian Federation||High||Upper middle|
|Tonga||Upper middle||Lower middle|
|Tunisia||Upper middle||Lower middle|
|Venezuela, RB||High||Upper middle|