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Ten things you may not know about Brazil

Paige Morency-Notario's picture
Also available in: Français | Español | 中文 | العربية

Millions of soccer fans around the world have their eyes glued to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup games. In light of this, let's take a look at the World Bank's Open Data sets to get a closer look at Brazil, the world's fifth most populous country, and its neighbors.
 

Brazil: At-a-Glance
  • Population: 199 million
  • Surface area: 8.5 million sq. km
  • Terrestrial protected areas: 26.3% of total land
  • World's fourth largest cereal/dry grain producer
Source: World Development Indicators 2014
(dates of the data may vary)
 

Lives on the line: reducing under-five child mortality rates in Africa

Dereje Ketema Wolde's picture
As countries all across Africa recognize International Day of the African Child today, I thought it would be a timely opportunity to blog about the progress of under-five child mortality rates over the past two decades.  But first, some data for us to understand the big picture:
  • On a global level, the rate of under-five child mortality has been cut in half, from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 per 1,000 in 2012.  The estimated annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from 12.6 million to 6.6 million over the same period.
  • Since 1990, 216 million children worldwide have died before their fifth birthday — more than the current total population of Brazil, the world's fifth most populous country.
  • Disparities between children in the high-income and low-income countries have narrowed, but many gaps still remain.  Case in point: In Luxembourg, the under-five mortality rate is just 2 deaths per 1,000 live births; in Sierra Leone, it is 182 deaths per 1,000 births.

As we stand a year away from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 – which aims to reduce the global under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 – the pace of reduction would have needed to quadruple in 2013-2015 to achieve this goal, according to the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF's) Committed to Child Survival: A Promised Renewed – Progress Report 2013.

A closer look at regional rates
Now let's take a look at the regional and country level data by viewing the World Development Indicators (WDI) 2014 and the indicator under-five mortality rate. The WDI also features a short progress report on MDG 4, which complements the detailed analysis of the World Bank Group's Global Monitoring Report.  This report uses the same methodology to assess whether countries are on track or off track to meet the 2015 targets.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where one in ten children die before the age of five, faces the biggest challenges in achieving MDG 4, followed by South Asia.  The SSA region reduced its child mortality rate by 45% during 1990 to 2012, the only region to reduce its under-five mortality rate by less than half during this time.  SSA also lags behind other regions in its pace of decline in the total number of under-five deaths.

Figure 1

LICs, LMICs, UMICs, and HICs: classifying economies for analytical purposes

Neil Fantom's picture
Also available in: 中文

Two previous posts outlined plans to review the World Bank's analytical income classification, here and here. Since we are updating this classification with new data soon (July 1, 2014), we wanted to let users know where this work stands.

Every year, the analytical classification groups all economies into four categories: low income countries (LICs); lower middle income countries (LMICs); upper middle income countries (UMICs); and high income countries (or HICs). This year we will update the classification using 2013 data, but we will not make any change to the methodology.

Data show rise in domestic credit in developing countries

Buyant Erdene Khaltarkhuu's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية | Español | Français

Access to finance, availability of credit, and cost of service are all key to financial development.  Credit finances production, consumption, and capital formation, which in turn lead to economic activity. The availability of credit to households, private companies, and public entities shows the worldwide growth of the banking and financial sector.

In this Q&A blog post, we examine domestic credit data trends as compiled in the World Development Indicators 2014, and what the data reveal about the changing financial landscape in developing countries.  

Q: What is "domestic credit provided by the financial sector"?
A: Domestic credit provided by the financial sector is credit that is extended to various sectors. The financial sector includes monetary authorities such as the central bank (the entity which controls the supply of a country's currency), deposit money banks (commercial "main street" banks), and other financial institutions.  In a few countries, governments may hold international reserves as deposits in the financial system rather than in the central bank.  Since claims on the central government are a net item (claims on the central government minus central government deposits), the figure may be negative, resulting in a negative figure for domestic credit provided by the financial sector. 

Sub-National Malnutrition Indicators Map

Sub-National Malnutrition Indicators map showcases subnational estimates of child malnutrition (prevalence for stunting, underweight, overweight, wasting and severe wasting indicators) using the most recently available data for each country mapped. The five indicators are calculated based on the WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition which is a carefully maintained database covering over eight hundred first level administrative divisions for 86 developing countries.

Turning to environmental data to understand forest losses and protected areas

Mahyar Eshragh Tabary's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية | Español | Français

Environmental resources differ from financial, human, and capital resources in a significant way – they are exhaustible.  And given the ever growing dependence on natural resources, this is an area that developing countries take seriously.

What have governments worldwide done to make certain that natural resources are protected?

How are they ensuring that their progress is sustainable and not just a windfall gain?

To answer these and other related questions, let's turn our attention to the Little Green Data Book 2014 (PDF), which draws from the World Development Indicators 2014 Environment section.

The global decline in forest cover
Forests cover about one-third of all land worldwide. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Earth's forest area was about 50 million square kilometers. This has since shrunk to about 40 million square kilometers.  Most of this decline was caused by the growing demand for forest and paper products, as well as for agricultural land use.

June 5 is the United Nation's World Environment Day, a day to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

Forest area is defined as land spanning more than 0.005 square kilometers with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10% or with trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. In some places, forest area has slightly expanded, either through planting or natural processes. As a result, the global average annual deforestation fell from .18% (1990-2000) to .11% (2000-2011).

The highest concentration of forest loss is found in developing countries, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Figure 1.

International tourism data: top destinations, number of arrivals, and more

Wendy Ven-dee Huang's picture
Also available in: 中文

When you hear the words “top tourist destination,” do sandy beaches and national parks come to mind? Perhaps places with historical significance like the Egyptian pyramids or the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia?  When we take a close look at the tourism data, we see that some of the top tourist destinations in the world are in low- and middle-income countries, specifically, in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Figure 1:

How we do Open Data: #1 - choosing development indicators

Neil Fantom's picture
Also available in: 中文

A recent question from Lorenz Noe caught our eye - how do we choose which indicators to publish in World Development Indicators (WDI), a major part of our Open Data Initiative? It’s a good question, so I thought I’d write a post about that - and we’ll also post something similar in the data help desk.

1. There’s no perfect indicator

There are sometimes gaps in the data


Like many things in life, selecting indicators for the WDI is not an exact science. The intention is to provide good coverage of key development issues, but many of the countries that we work with do not have the quantity - or quality - of data that exists in countries like the United States, for example.

Women in Ministerial Positions Worldwide: Looking at the Data Up Close

Masako Hiraga's picture

Edit 5/19/2014: The blog is based on the IPU data as of January 2012. Our friend Andy Kotikula points out that since then, Bhutan has elected its first female minister. We also note that many more women ministers were elected, and 6 countries in Table 1 -  The Bahamas, Belize, Bhutan, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, and Singapore - now have women ministers. The new IPU data as of January 2014 will be available in the Gender Data Portal and WDI on July 1, 2014.

A new World Bank report, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity, underscores the importance of enabling girls and women to fulfill their potential and make their voices heard. For women in the developing world who work in ministerial positions, are their voices being heard?  The data shows us that more than 20% of elected ministers in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are women.

Using data published in the World Bank’s Gender Data Portal, these two regions’ share of women in ministerial positions are a 10-percentage-point higher than other regions, an encouraging trend since 2005.  For me, one  really eye-opening insight is this: here are two regions with very different socio-economic characteristics: Latin America and the Caribbean, with  mostly middle income countries and high levels of school enrollments, and Sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a majority of low income countries with lower levels of school enrollments. Yet they both have the highest level of female political representation compared to other regions.
 

The rise of open data driven businesses in emerging markets

Alla Morrison's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية | Español | Français


Mapping traffic flows using real time data.

Key findings --

  • Many new data companies have emerged around the world in the last few years. Of these companies, the majority use some form of government data.
  • There are a large number of data companies in sectors with high social impact and tremendous development opportunities.
  • An actionable pipeline of data-driven companies exists in Latin America and in Asia. The most desired type of financing is equity, followed by quasi-equity in the amounts ranging from $100,000 to $5 million, with averages of between $2 and $3 million depending on the region. The total estimated need for financing may exceed $400 million.
The economic value of open data is no longer a hypothesis
How can one make money with open data which is akin to air – free and open to everyone? Should the World Bank Group be in the catalyzer role for a sector that is just emerging?  And if so, what set of interventions would be the most effective? Can promoting open data-driven businesses contribute to the World Bank Group’s twin goals of fighting poverty and boosting shared prosperity?

These questions have been top of the mind since the World Bank Open Finances team convened a group of open data entrepreneurs from across Latin America to share their business models, success stories and challenges at the Open Data Business Models workshop in Uruguay in June 2013. We were in Uruguay to find out whether open data could lead to the creation of sustainable new businesses and jobs. To do so, we tested a couple of hypotheses: open data has economic value, beyond the benefits of increased transparency and accountability; and open data companies with sustainable business models already exist in emerging economies.

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