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New SPI data: Seven charts to understand the performance of national statistical systems around the world

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On January 18, 2024, the World Bank released new data for the Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI)—a set of 50+ indicators which measure the performance of national statistical systems around the globe.  

The SPI assesses the performance of national statistical systems in five key areas, known as pillars. Each of these pillars is supported by four or five dimensions and uses defined methods and indicators—all available as open data and open code. On the SPI website, you can explore the data or learn more about the framework

The new SPI release adds data for the 2020, 2021 and 2022, and includes twelve additional countries. So, where do countries stand today? Scroll down to explore the charts.

An overall score (ranging between 0 and 100) is produced for 186 economies by combining the 50+ Statistical Performance Indicators. Scroll down to learn more

In 2022, the scores ranged from 24 (Libya) to 94 (Finland), with a median score of 70 across countries.

Fragile and Conflict Affected (FCS) economies make up a disproportionate share of the countries scoring in the bottom half of the SPI overall score. Countries with institutional and social fragility score around 46 points on average (out of 100), while those in conflict score around 56 points on average.

Income is a strong predictor of statistical performance. Every $5,000 increase in GDP per capita is associated with around a 2 point increase in SPI Overall Scores. While income is important, it is not destiny. Several countries, such as Mexico, perform as well as countries with much higher income.

High income countries have an average SPI score of more than 80 points (out of 100), while low income countries have an average score of around 55 points.

Among countries receiving lending support from the World Bank, IBRD countries -- composed of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries -- average around 71 points on the SPI overall score, while IDA countries -- those receiving interest-free loans and grants -- score around 56 points on average. Countries not receiving lending support -- mostly high income countries -- score highest with an average score of around 84.

The SPI now covers the years 2016 to 2022. What have national statistical systems been up to? 

Globally, SPI scores have been improving since 2016. The global average SPI score rose around 12 points between 2016 and 2022. This was led by improvements in data services—data openness, data portals with metadata, among other elements—with the SPI Data Services pillar index rising close to 25 points (out of 100) since 2016. Data products, such as tracking the availability of SDG indicators, rose around 18 points since 2016; while data infrastructure—meaning if both the hard and soft infrastructure needed to produce data are available—has increased around 14 points. Data sources improved by only 3 points, held back in part because of COVID disruptions, while the measures of data use were essentially unchanged. 

Along with the new data, this release is accompanied by a brief “What’s New” document, a protocol for quality assurance, new SPI country pages, and an updated SPI data explorer.


Umar Serajuddin

Manager, Development Data Group, The World Bank

Brian Stacy

Data Scientist, Development Data Group, World Bank

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