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The future of the world’s population in 4 charts

Tariq Khokhar's picture
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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.

MDG5: Despite progress, improving maternal health is still a challenge

Haruna Kashiwase's picture
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This is the fifth in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 5  is to "Improve maternal health" and is measured against a target to “Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio” and to “Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health”

In 2013, 99% of world’s 289,000 maternal deaths occurred in developing countries

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According to the WHO, every day, around 800 women lose their lives before, during, or after child delivery. In 2013, more than half of all maternal deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, and about a quarter occurred in South Asia.

However, countries in both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have made great progress in reducing the maternal mortality ratio. In South Asia it fell from 550 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 190 in 2013, a drop of 65 percent. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where rates are more than double those of South Asia, they’ve also dropped by almost 50 percent over the same period.

These achievements are impressive, but progress in reducing maternal mortality ratios has been slower than the 75 percent reduction between 1990 and 2015 targeted by the MDGs. Aside from a handful of countries, no developing regions on average are likely to achieve the target. But the average annual rate of decline has accelerated from 1.1 percent over 1990–95 to 3.1 percent over 2005–13.

MDG4: A dramatic decline in child mortality over the last 20 years

Dereje Ketema Wolde's picture
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This is the fourth in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 4  is to "Reduce child mortality" and is measured against a target to “Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate”. It includes indicators to measure the under-5 mortality rate, the infant mortality rate and the proportion of 1-year olds immunized against measles.

17,000 fewer children now die each day compared with 1990

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In 1990 13 million children died before their fifth birthday, by 1999 it was less than 10 million, and by 2013 it had fallen to just over 6 million. This means that at least 17,000 fewer children now die each day compared with 1990.

In 1990 the average under-five mortality rate for all developing countries was 99 deaths per 1,000 live births; in 2013 it had fallen to 50 or about half the 1990 rate. This is tremendous progress. But based on the current trend, developing countries as a whole are likely to fall short of the Millennium Development Goal target. Despite rapid improvements since 2000, child mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia remain considerably higher than in the rest of the world

 

MDG3: Large differences in gender equality between and within countries

Masako Hiraga's picture
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This is the third in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 3  is to "Promote gender equality and empower women" and is measured against a target to "Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015" and also includes indicators to measure the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament and the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector.

Since 1990, the number of women in parliament has quadrupled in the Middle East and North Africa

Chart 1

More women are participating in public life and decision making at the highest levels than in 1990, based on the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women. Latin America and the Caribbean leads developing country regions in 2014, at 29 percent, followed closely by Sub-Saharan Africa at 22 percent. The biggest change has occurred in the Middle East and North Africa, where the proportion of seats held by women more than quadrupled between 1990 and 2014 . At the country level Rwanda leads the way with 64 percent in 2014, higher than the percentage for high- income countries, at 26 percent.






MDG2: Accelerating progress towards universal primary education

Hiroko Maeda's picture
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This is the second in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 2 is to "Achieve universal primary education" and is measured against a target to “ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling”

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After modest movement toward universal primary education in the poorest countries during the 1990s, progress has accelerated considerably since 2000. Achieving the MDG 2 target appeared within reach only a few years ago, but the primary school completion rate has been stalled at 91 percent for developing countries since 2009.

Only two regions, East Asia and Pacific and Europe and Central Asia, have reached or are close to reaching universal primary education. The Middle East and North Africa has steadily improved, to 95 percent in 2012, the same rate as Latin America and the Caribbean. South Asia reached 91 percent in 2009, but progress since has been slow. The real challenge remains in Sub-Saharan Africa, which lags behind with a 70 percent primary completion rate as of 2012.

MDG 1: Uneven progress in reducing extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition

Juan Feng's picture
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This is the first in a series of posts on data related the Millennium Development Goals based on the 2015 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Millennium Development Goal 1 is to "Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger" and is assosciated with three targets to: a) Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day; b) Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all; and to c) Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. 

The latest estimates show that the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 43.6 percent in 1990 to 17.0 percent in 2011. Forecasts based on country-specific growth rates in the past 10 years indicate that the extreme poverty rate will fall to 13.4 percent by 2015, a drop of more than two-thirds from the 1990 baseline.

The number of people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day is also forecast to be halved by 2015 from its 1990 level. Between 1990 and 2011 the number of extremely poor people fell from 1.9 billion to 1 billion, and according to forecasts, another 175 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2015.

This means that based on current trends, nearly half of developing countries have already achieved the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG1) target of halving the proportion of the population in extreme poverty five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

5 reasons why water is key to sustainable development

Tariq Khokhar's picture
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March 22nd is World Water Day. We’ve already covered 7 things you may not know about water so here a 5 more facts showing the links between water and health, energy, the climate, agriculture and urbanization. But first:

This is every river and waterway in the contiguous United States

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Image via Wired

Nelson Minar produced this incredible map using data from the USGS National Hydrography Dataset. It includes some waterways that are dry most of the year but still have defined creek beds, and like veins running through the human body it shows how fundamental water is to the country’s ecosystem.

The global state of gender in 7 charts

Tariq Khokhar's picture
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This Sunday, International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, while calling for greater gender equality. Ahead of several high-profile campaigns and initiatives launching this week and next, I thought I’d highlight some gender data and trends that you might not know about.

Note: as these data are from different sources, some of the members of regional groupings may differ between charts, please refer to the original sources for details.

1) 91% of the world’s girls completed primary school

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Data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics and World Development Indicators

In 2012, more girls completed primary school than ever before. Since 2000, there’s been progress across the world but large disparities remain between regions and countries. Only 66% of girls in Sub Saharan Africa completed primary school in 2012, and in three countries this figure was under 35%. Educating girls is one of the best investments we can make and by 2015, developing countries as a whole are likely to reach gender parity (about the same numbers of boys and girls) in terms of primary and secondary enrollment.

Can you visualize the structure of the world economy and population in one chart?

Morgan Brannon's picture
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Following the International Comparison Program (ICP) 2011 final report release from last October, there was particular interest in the charts presenting the results. To give a deeper explanation of one of the most popular charts, we’ve recently produced this video:
 
Real GDP Per Capita and Shares of Global Population, ICP 2011
Source:  ICP, http://icp.worldbank.org/

The World Bank Group’s full project portfolio is now on the map

Philippa Sigl-Gloeckner's picture
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We promise to add rich detail to our maps so that anyone will be able to go online, click on the maps, and immediately learn where we are working and what we are doing.” (Jim Yong Kim, Annual Meetings 2013)

For the first time, the World Bank Group’s (WBG) full portfolio, including IFC and MIGA is on the map (maps.worldbank.org). This accomplishment marks the completion of the geo-mapping target President Kim announced at the 2013 Annual Meetings. It is the result of a long collaboration across the WBG team’s to overcome numerous hurdles and successfully built on the foundation put down by the Mapping for Results team.

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