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Q3 2016 Update of World Development Indicators Available

World Bank Data Team's picture
The World Development Indicators database has been updated. This is a regular quarterly update to over 600 indicators and includes both new indicators and updates to existing indicators. 

Data have been updated for international poverty and shared prosperity indicators, balance of payments series, monetary indicators, Enterprise Surveys, FDI and portfolio equity flows, remittances, and indicators for education, health expenditure, HIV, immunization, CO2 emissions, statistical capacity, telecommunications, threatened species, private participation in infrastructure, research and development, intentional homicides, and battle-related deaths. The OECD aggregates have been updated to reflect the addition of Latvia.

New indicators have been added for HIV, gender, and educational attainment. 

National accounts data updates include Argentina, which was temporarily unclassified in July 2016 pending release  of revised statistics, and is classified as upper middle income for FY17. 

Data can be accessed via various means including:

- The World Bank’s main multi-lingual and mobile-friendly data website, 
- The DataBank query tool: which also includes archived, previous versions of WDI
- Bulk download in XLS and CSV formats and directly from the API


Media (R)evolutions: Audiences trust established news brands more than new brands or journalists

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

News audiences typically trust institutions more than individuals. It is the news brand — its heritage, values, and journalistic standards — that people identify with, not the celebrity journalists or talking heads, according to the Reuters Digital News Report 2016 that surveyed over 50,000 online news consumers in 26 countries.

Who is this anonymous source? Did somebody pay the outlet to run this story? Can I trust the journalist to give me an unbiased report? These questions remain pertinent for contemporary news consumers, and the Digital News Report suggests that trust in the news is more strongly tied to trust in specific news brands than any other factor. In all 26 countries, trust in news organizations was the most important driver of overall trust, and was significantly more important than trust in journalists or freedom from undue governmental influence.  This perhaps signals that news audiences are weary of citizen journalism, blogs, and other forms of news that have not been vetted and, therefore, cannot be readily screened for bias.

However, an important point, often made by participants in the follow-up focus groups, was that trust in news brands takes a long time to build. Some news brands – typically those that have been around a long time – are often seen as main sources of news, and new outlets, even if they have a large reach, are considered secondary sources.


Media (R)evolutions: Digital news gains ground on traditional print press

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

Many newspapers and media watchers around the world bemoan the “death of print”, stirring a sense of loss because print newspapers represent something historical, nostalgic, or dramatic to their readers.  Many who lament the demise of print newspapers do so because they believe it signals two broad trends: younger generations don’t see the point of buying a hard copy of newsprint and people are reading less and are, therefore, less informed.  On the first point, it is true that in developed countries there has been a steady decline in the circulation of newspaper print editions, but it should be noted that print media is still growing in developing media countries, like India and China.  

On the second point, it’s clear that people are not actually reading less news. Data from Global Web Index makes it clear that internet users are spending more time each day perusing digital news. On average, adults with internet access are now spending 50 minutes a day reading online press – more than 10 minutes longer than they spend reading print versions. Mobiles phones have had a clear impact, allowing users to keep up with the news throughout the day, and 6 in 10 adults are now visiting news websites on their mobiles each month, with 41% using a dedicated news app. 

This data suggests that the market for paid news is not failing and there are possible business models for online news. The need for information will not vanish and their remains a market for high-quality credible news. Press sites will have to work harder, though, to convince consumers to visit their sites directly rather than social networks as Twitter and Facebook, which have been positioning themselves as prime sources for news.

New country classifications by income level

World Bank Data Team's picture

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 from Tuesday July 5th.

Below you will find the list of countries with new income groups.

Economy Old group New group
Cambodia Low Lower middle
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
Senegal Lower middle Low
Tonga Upper middle Lower middle
Tunisia Upper middle Lower middle
Venezuela, RB High Upper middle

Population estimates for certain countries with resident refugees

World Bank Data Team's picture

From July 2016, an adjustment will be made to the population estimates published in World Development Indicators of five countries affected by the refugee situation in the Middle East and North Africa region: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. Previously, for these countries for 2011 onwards, refugees have been included in the population estimates of the country of origin. Going forward, population estimates will include refugees in the country in which they currently reside (also referred to as their country of asylum), rather than their country of origin. This means that Syrian refugees residing outside of Syria will no longer be counted in the Syrian population estimate.

This change improves the consistency between the population estimates of these countries and those   of countries in other regions, where estimates are based on a "de facto" definition – counting all residents, regardless of their legal status or citizenship. While population estimates are used for a wide variety of purposes, the change also improves the consistency between them and their use in estimating per capita incomes; the System of National Accounts does not distinguish between refugees and other groups of people for the purpose of determining residence, and this is the prevailing practice adopted by national statistical agencies.

The source of population estimates used for most low and middle-income countries, including these five countries, is the biennial United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects. This uses a de facto definition of population, with refugees counted in their country of residence or asylum.

Indicators referenced in this posting:


Media (R)evolutions: TV is still the king of news worldwide

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

For years, researchers and social critics have speculated that social media and niche interest sites were capturing more and more attention of people, thereby supplanting traditional sources of news like radio, television, and print. Much of the concern has come from data that mobile phones are proliferating around the world and that adults aged 21-34 — so-called Millennials — do not visit news sites, read print newspapers, or watch television news. Instead, this generation (and Generation Z, which follows it) spends more time on social networks, often on mobile devices. This trend can be seen worldwide, as newspapers have become a dying breed in many countries.

Nevertheless, if the current media preferences of young adults are an indication of the future, the data may offer bad news for print media, but good news for TV.  According to a Nielsen global survey of more than 30,000 online consumers across 60 countries, television is still the most popular source of news for people around the world. When asked where they get the news, 53% of the respondents named television as one of their preferred sources. Click on the image below to see how each generation differs in their media use.
preferred sources of news globally


Does “Rational Ignorance” make working on transparency and accountability a waste of time?

Duncan Green's picture

Guest post from Paul O’Brien, Vice President for Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam America (gosh, they do have august sounding job titles, don’t they?)

As the poorest half of the planet sees that just 62 people have more wealth than all of them, collective frustration at extreme inequality is increasing.  To rebalance power and wealth, many in our community are turning to transparency, accountability, participation and inclusion.  Interrogate that “development consensus,” however, and opinions are fractured over the benefits and costs of transferring power from the haves to the have-nots.

Social Media Information OverloadIn truth, our theories of change often diverge.  Most development organizations may agree on the need to advocate for more Investment, Innovation, Information, strong Institutions and Incentives, but some organizations are genuinely committed to only one of those “I’s”, and that can be problematic:  Oxfam often finds itself choosing and moving between the relentless positivity of politically benign theories of change (e.g. we just need more “investment” or “innovation”), the moderation of those who focus exclusively on transparent “information” with no clear pathway to ensure its political relevance, and the relentless negativity of activists that think the only way to transform “institutions” or realign the “incentives” of elites is to beat them up in public.

Oxfam’s challenge is to be both explicit in our theory of change and show sophistication and dexterity in working across that spectrum.  If Oxfam’s theory of change is based on a citizen-centered approach to tackling global systemic challenges like extreme inequality, then our opportunity may be engaging the “rational ignorance” of citizens and consumers.