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Year in Review: Our most popular stories of 2015

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Here at the World Bank, we publish a lot of stories, press releases, blogs, videos, and more each year. We also pay close attention to which ones get read the most. Here are your favorite stories published in 2015, measured by the number of unique visitors (except where noted).

Feature Stories

Three of the top 5 stories this year concerned climate, in the lead-up to the December meeting in Paris where the world’s nations reached a new accord to fight climate change.

  1. Rapid, Climate-Informed Development Needed to Keep Climate Change from Pushing More than 100 Million People into Poverty by 2030 (Nov. 8)
  2. Who Gains and Who Loses from Plunging Oil Prices in the Middle East and North Africa Region? (Jan. 29)
  3. Innovating Against Odds: How a Province in Pakistan is Transforming Itself (Sept. 24)
  4. Carbon Pricing Is Expanding: Initiatives Now Valued at Nearly $50 Billion (May 26)
  5. 3 Steps to Decarbonizing Development for a Zero-Carbon Future (May 11)

See all 2015 feature stories.

Videos on YouTube

Our No. 1 video this year featured celebrated Swedish statistician Hans Rosling in an installment of our #PabsyLive video series. Air pollution was the topic of two other top 5 videos: one from Lagos, Nigeria, which is still choking under dirty air, and the other from Thailand and Chile, which are leading the way in pollution abatement. (Videos are ranked by total number of minutes each was watched.)

See all videos on YouTube.

Press Releases

From falling oil prices to falling poverty rates, when the World Bank makes forecasts about the global economy or the health of a particular country, it’s news. This year’s top 5 included what World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim called “the best story in the world today”: The number of people living in extreme poverty is expected to fall below 10% for the first time in history.

  1. Global Economic Prospects to Improve in 2015, But Divergent Trends Pose Downside Risks, Says WB (Jan. 13)
  2. World Bank Forecasts Global Poverty to Fall Below 10% for First Time; Major Hurdles Remain in Goal to End Poverty by 2030 (Oct. 4)
  3. World Bank Revises Down Forecasts for Oil Prices, Other Key Commodities in 2015 and 2016 (Oct. 20)
  4. Kenya Among the Fastest Growing Economies in Africa (March 5)
  5. WB Update Says 10 Countries Move Up in Income Bracket (July 1)

See all 2015 press releases.


Data and research were topics of high interest to readers of the World Bank’s blogs, with two blogs featuring data charts and two rounding up research papers. A blog about the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake by the World Bank’s country director there completed the list.

  1. The future of the world’s population in 4 charts (Tariq Khokhar and Haruna Kashiwase, Aug. 5)
  2. Year in Review: 2015 in 12 charts (Donna Barne and Tariq Khokhar, Dec. 24)
  3. What’s the latest in development economics research? A round-up of 150+ papers from NEUDC 2015 (David Evans, Nov. 9)
  4. Nepal one month after the earthquake (Johannes Zutt, May 24)
  5. The take-aways from four dozen papers on conflict and fragility in Africa in under 2,000 words (David Evans, Markus Goldstein, and Anna Popova, June 10)

See all blogs.


The twice-yearly Global Economic Prospects report was the source of two of the top 5 infographics, with two others coming from the World Bank’s Annual Report.

  1. Global Growth (Global Economic Prospects, January)
  2. Financing for Development (Annual Report 2015)
  3. Global Economy in Transition (Global Economic Prospects, June)
  4. Commodity Markets Outlook: The 2014 Oil Price Collapse (January)
  5. Committed to Results (Annual Report 2015)

See many of our 2015 infographics (others are in different formats on other parts of the site).

Stories on

A boy works at a computer center in Accra, Ghana. © Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

In September, we launched a new platform for World Bank stories on Called World of Opportunity, the channel features stories on selected topics to reach new readers and display photos more beautifully. (Medium stories are ranked by number of views.)

1. Learning to code vs. coding to learn (Michael Trucano, Dec. 10)
2. A sweet (potato) solution to malnutrition (Donna Barne, Dec. 16)
3. Energy access is a social justice issue (Jim Yong Kim, Nov. 2)
4. Solar energy to bring jobs and prosperity back to parched villages (Amit Jain, Dec. 24)
5. Why is the World Bank on Medium? (Elizabeth Howton, Sept. 24)

See all stories on




Two of 2015’s most-read speeches by World Bank leaders concerned South Asia — specifically, Pakistan and India.

  1. What Will it Take to Realize Pakistan’s Potential? (Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Aug. 4)
  2. Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030: The Final Push (Jim Yong Kim, April 7)
  3. India’s Program for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the 21st Century (Jim Yong Kim, Jan. 11)
  4. Lessons for Africa from China’s Growth (Makhtar Diop, Jan. 13)
  5. Green Bonds and Climate Policy: Building a Foundation for Scalable Investment (Rachel Kyte, March 27)

See all 2015 speeches.


Published in newspapers and websites around the world before being republished on the World Bank’s website, op-eds reflect the views of the World Bank’s leaders, sometimes co-authored with leaders from outside the Bank. Four of the five most-read in 2015 centered on individual countries or regions and their prospects for economic development.

  1. Africa Still Poised to Become the Next Great Investment Destination (Makhtar Diop, Yuan Li, Li Yong, and Ato Ahmed Shide, China Daily, June 30)
  2. The Cost of Brazil’s Closed Economy (Otaviano Canuto, Cornelius Fleischhaker, and Philip Schellekens,, Feb. 5)
  3. Ukraine’s Health System: Time for Change (Qimiao Fan, Zerkalo Nedeli weekly, April 6)
  4. Women for Innovation (Victoria Kwakwa, Vietnam Economic Times, March 6)
  5. Moldovans Deserve a Clean Economy (Alex Kremer, June 16)

See all 2015 opinions.


Elizabeth Howton

Senior Communications Officer

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