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A tale of many cities: monitoring the world's urban transformation

Chandan Deuskar's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.  Chris Sall also contributed to this blog.

By 2030 around 60 percent of people will live in urban areas, according to the UN. Much of the 1 billion increase in urban population between now and 2030 will be in Asia and Africa, both of which are in the midst of transformations that will permanently change their economic, environmental, social, and political trajectories.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 aims to ensure that cities and other human settlements are safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable by targeting housing and slums, transportation, participatory planning processes, cultural heritage, waste management, air quality, disaster risk management, and other issues.

Chart: Over 200 Species of Plants Are Threatened in These Countries

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 日本語 | العربية | Español

Biodiversity is essential for well-functioning ecosystems. In each of these 20 countries, over 200 species of plants are threatened, according to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature available in World Development Indicators.

What's also interesting is that: There are almost as many threatened species of plants as fish, birds and mammals combined


Finally, you can have a look at the numbers of threatened species of plants, birds, fish and mammals in the table below. Equador (with the Galapagos Islands) is a huge outlier so makes the bar scale a little awkward below - if you right click on Equador and "exclude" it you'll be able to see the bars on more useful scale.
 

Gender equality: what does the data show in 2016?

Eliana Rubiano-Matulevich's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.
 

Disparities between men and women are fewer + smaller than 20 years ago, but critical gaps remain

We have seen significant progress in closing gender gaps over the last two decades, especially in education and health. Most countries have reduced disparities between girls and boys in enrollment and completion of primary school, and in transition to secondary school.  And both women and men are living longer and healthier lives. But critical gaps persist: Women have limited access to economic opportunities, and their ability to make decisions about their lives and act on them—their agency —is restricted in many ways.

Hurdles to gender equality

These gaps are related to entrenched social norms and biases that constrain women and girls and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. In many economies, women face legal provisions that restrict their capacity to access opportunities—these include requirements that they obtain a husband’s permission or produce additional documentation to open a bank account in their own name. Persistent gender-based violence is pervasive and reflects the imbalance of power relations in the household and society more generally. Women’s responsibility for family care and household chores, which is necessary for social reproduction, restricts the time they can spend on paid work and disadvantages men.

Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” and represents an opportunity to tackle structural constraints and shift social norms, which would potentially enable permanent pathways out of poverty and achieve the gender equality targets of the 2030 agenda.

Shifting entrenched norms isn’t easy. A key step in this process is to create an enabling environment by changing legal frameworks. Countries have taken important steps in enacting laws to protect women from harmful practices: In 2016, 137 countries have laws on domestic violence and 149 countries prohibit or void child marriage. On the other hand, many economies still have legal differences affecting women’s economic opportunities. Almost 60 percent of the 188 countries for which data are available lack legal frameworks that mandate equal opportunities in hiring practices, equal pay for equal work, or allow women to perform the same jobs as men.

Protecting life on land to protect the poor

Mahyar Eshragh Tabary's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.
 

Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth's land but around 13 million hectares vanish each year, despite efforts to protect them. Between 1990 and 2015 the world lost more than 129 million hectares—over 3 percent of its forest area. Despite efforts to protect forests, natural habitats and biodiversity, the impact of of human activity on the environment continues to affect the world’s poorest communities and deforestation, desertification and the loss of biodiversity all pose major challenges. Sustainable Development Goal 15 looks to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".

Troubled waters: ensuring sustainable fishing and healthy oceans

Randall Brummett's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.


Fish is the main animal protein for more than 1 billion people. Average worldwide fish consumption is about 20 kilograms per person per year. Marine resources are essential to the food security of much of the world’s population and Sustainable Development Goal 14 looks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. Monitoring progress toward this goal is paramount but raises substantial challenges.


The world now farms more fish than it catches 

Capture fisheries have dominated the seafood market until recently. Since the 1980s there has been a rise in aquaculture (fish, shellfish and seaweed farming), which now accounts for more than half of all seafood production. Countries in East Asia dominate capture fisheries and aquaculture production and together account for over 90 percent of global output.

Sustainable development and the demand for energy

Mahyar Eshragh Tabary's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Between 1990 and 2013 worldwide energy use increased by about 54 percent, more than the 36 percent increase in the global population. Access to energy is fundamental to development, but as economies evolve, rising incomes and growing populations demand more energy.  Sustainable Development Goal 7 seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and achieving this will require increasing access to electricity, the take-up of clean fuels and renewable energies, and energy efficiency.

How do Causes of Death Vary Between Men and Women?

Dereje Ketema Wolde's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Source: World Development Indicators and World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Estimates Note: Causes of death by communicable diseases and maternal, prenatal and nutrition conditions are grouped together by WHO.

As Emi Suzuki wrote last week, the causes and patterns of death rich and poor countires vary and they're changing.  But what about the gender dimension? 

Women can expect to live longer than men in almost every country of the world. Globally, women's life expectancy remains about 3 years longer than men's, and you see the data for different countries in the interactive chart below:

Are people living longer, healthier lives?

Emi Suzuki's picture
Also available in: العربية | Español | Français


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

The incidence and patterns of serious diseases in rich and poor countries differ and they’re changing.  In low-income countries more than half the population dies from communicable diseases, or maternal, prenatal, or nutrition conditions. In middle- and high-income countries more than two-thirds die from noncommunicable diseases.  However, as health care and targeted medicine in poorer countries improve, the incidence of diseases such as malaria and HIV are starting to fall, whilst deaths due to heart attacks and strokes are on the increase.

Sustainable Development Goal 3 looks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. One of its aims is to reduce deaths and adverse consequences of non-communicable diseases and injuries—for example, by halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020. Traffic injuries caused 27 deaths per 100,000 people in low-income countries in 2013, three times more than in high-income countries. Rates in middle-income countries are also high.

The 2016 edition of World Development Indicators is out: three features you won’t want to miss

Neil Fantom's picture
Also available in: 中文 | Français | Español

We’re excited to announce the release of the 2016 edition of World Development Indicators (WDI).

With over 1 million downloads last year, WDI is the most widely used dataset in our Open Data Catalog and it provides high-quality cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe. You can:

WDI now includes 1,400 indicators for over 200 economies. While we update the WDI database quarterly and make historical versions available, this annual release of a new edition is an opportunity to review the trends we’re seeing in global development and discuss updates we’ve made to our data and methods.

We’ve gone from the MDGs to the SDGs with expanded data and illustrations of trends

The WDI team aims to produce a curated set of indicators relevant to the changing needs of the development community. The new edition includes indicators to help measure the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - these build on the 8 goals and 18 targets of the Millennium Development Goals we focused on in previous editions, but are far wider in scope and far more ambitious. A complementary Sustainable Development Goals data dashboard provides an interactive presentation of the indicators we have in the WDI database that are related to each goal.

For each of the 17 SDGs the World View section of the publication includes recent trends and baselines against key targets. Data experts in the World Bank’s Data Group and subject specialists in the Bank’s Global Practices and Cross Cutting Solution Areas teamed up to identify new and existing indicators and assess key trends for each goal and for three cross-cutting areas: statistical capacity; fragility, conflict and violence; and financial inclusion.

A series of blogs will look further at data and the SDGs, and review some of the measurement challenges. To give you an idea of how interesting some of the trends are, here are four charts we found striking:

While undernourishment has been halved globally since 1990, over a quarter of the population in low-income countries still can’t meet their dietary energy requirements.

Good records of births and deaths are key to delivering government programs and services, but in Sub-Saharan africa, fewer than half of children’s births were recorded in 2011.

While some regions have increased forest coverage, Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa lost 97 and 83 million hectares respectively since 1990.

Since the 1980s there has been a dramatic rise in aquaculture - fish, shellfish, and seaweed farming.  We now farm as much fish as we catch. (The resemblance between this chart and the shape of a fish is pleasing, but coincidental!)

Download the World Development Indicators from the Bank's Open Knowledge Repository

We’re no longer distinguishing between “developing” and “developed” countries

Last November, Tariq Khokhar and Umar Serajuddin  asked the question: “Should we continue to use the term ‘developing world?” The conclusion was that it’s becoming less relevant, and with the focus of the SDGs on goals for the whole world, we should start phasing out the term “developing world” in our data publications and databases.

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