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A year of Open Data

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It’s been a year since the World Bank made its public databases, including the World Development Indicators database available as open data: free of charge, in accessible non-proprietary machine-readable formats, and using an open license for use and re-use. At the time of the open data announcement there were around 140,000 regular users of the subscription database annually. But providing free and easier access to the databases has had an immediate and lasting impact on data use. Since April 2010 the new data site has recorded well over 20 million page views and the number of visitors using the data site has more than tripled.


The new data web site was only the beginning. Over the past year, we have increased the number of entries in the data catalog, and the number of available indicators is now over 7,000, with over 1,200 indicators available in Chinese, Spanish, French, and Arabic as well as English. And just recently we have added a microdata library. The Central Microdata Catalog operates as a portal for microdata documented in compliance with international standards and practices. As of today, the catalog contains 378 surveys with over 250,000 searchable variables.

microdata catalog

We would like to hear from data users. Are we are on the right track? What should we focus on next? E-mail us at; we hope to publish some of your responses in a future news story.

Happy anniversary!

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