Published on Voices

Quick, friendly, but powerful: The World Bank’s new site for data on poverty and inequality

Photo credit: World Bank Photo credit: World Bank

One of the public goods the World Bank provides to the world is an ample array of data about development. The data pages are among the most popular destinations on our website, and the demand has only grown with interest in how the pandemic and other current events are affecting global poverty and inequality. Everyone, from expert economists to students just starting out, needs an easy way to access our data. 

Today, the World Bank is launching the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP), a simple yet comprehensive tool to access our poverty and inequality estimates. PIP is an interactive platform that centralizes and simplifies the information previously available through PovcalNet and the Poverty & Equity Data Portal.

With clickable features where users can quickly plot poverty and inequality analyses in a variety of formats, PIP also offers graphs, tables, maps, and reports that can be downloaded or shared through social media with a couple of clicks.

PIP is a powerful source for country-specific, cross-country, and global information, including for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty (goal 1) and inequality (goal 10).  The Country Profile tool concentrates on the main indicators and reports for a particular economy, while the Poverty Calculator feature allows users to compare poverty and inequality indicators over time and across countries (and world regions) in a single chart, map, or table. Users can choose any poverty line and the underlying data is easily downloaded.

Another important characteristic of PIP is its increased documentation. Under the Resources menu, users will find all the technical definitions for the indicators featured in the platform, a manual explaining the methodological decisions made, input data, survey metadata, and a list of main publications. In an effort to improve transparency, replicability and open-source code, the code for statistical calculations and methodological decisions is available on Github. All PIP data can also be accessed through the API endpoints on the website and through two API wrappers in R (“pipR” package) or Stata (“pip.ado”) software, allowing users to efficiently work and manipulate the data.

Finally, advanced users can also replicate estimates and perform their own computations on the anonymized underlying microdata (as long as they are publicly available) with the Statistics Online platform. After a quick registration, users will be able to work directly with the harmonized variables available on the platform, such as welfare aggregates, age, gender, education, urban/rural, location, and access to infrastructure services.

We hope you will find PIP a useful source to learn more about poverty and inequality in a particular country, across countries, regions, or the entire world.  Over the next weeks, we will be releasing a series of video tutorials that describe the new features in greater detail. Please send any feedback to

The authors chair the Global Poverty Working Group, an inter-departmental group bringing together staff from the World Bank’s data, poverty, and research teams. The group oversees and coordinates the Bank’s global poverty monitoring efforts.


Deon Filmer

Director, Development Research Group, World Bank

Haishan Fu

Chief Statistician of the World Bank and Director of the Development Data Group

Carolina Sánchez-Páramo

Director, Strategy and Operations, Europe and Central Asia

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