Introducing the online guide to the World Development Indicators: A new way to discover data on development


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The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the World Bank’s premier compilation of international statistics on global development. Drawing from officially recognized sources and including national, regional, and global estimates, the WDI provides access to almost 1,600 indicators for 217 economies, with some time series extending back more than 50 years. The database helps users—analysts, policymakers, academics, and all those curious about the state of the world—to find information related to all aspects of development, both current and historical.

An annual World Development Indicators report was available in print or PDF format until last year. This year, we introduce the World Development Indicators website: a new discovery tool and storytelling platform for our data which takes users behind the scenes with information about data coverage, curation, and methodologies. The goal is to provide a useful, easily accessible guide to the database and make it easy for users to discover what type of indicators are available, how they’re collected, and how they can be visualized to analyze development trends.

So, what can you do on the new World Development Indicators website?

1. Explore available indicators by theme

The indicators in the WDI are organized according to six thematic areas: Poverty and Inequality, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets, and Global Links. Each thematic page provides an overview of the type of data available, a list of featured indicators, and information about widely used methodologies and current data challenges.

2. See a snapshot of data availability over time and across the world


Each thematic page shows a list of featured indicators where you can easily see data time coverage per year for each decade since the 1960s, as well as the regional coverage for each World Bank geographical region since 2010.

3. Discover stories

Throughout the website, we’ve illustrated how WDI indicators can be used to explore development trends and current data issues through stories and shareable visualizations. Our stories look at issues such as tracking where the world’s poorest people live today, changing trends in population growth, or whether children who work attend school.

4. Access Data

For quick access to the time series data the website offers direct links to the Open Data site and DataBank, an interactive tool for data analysis and visualization. Users can also easily download bulk versions of the database in Excel and CSV, and access information about the World Bank data API.

5. Check out the special features

Users can understand the World Bank’s analytical groupings of countries, and easily visualize the change in the World Bank country classification over the years using an interactive map . . .


… or learn about the role of the World Bank in the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals.


6. Make use of a wealth of resources

The new WDI website allows users to quickly access relevant data and materials including information about sources and methodologies, the WDI statistical tables, or the WDI archives.

The World Development Indicators is made possible by the efforts of statisticians and data scientists everywhere. The database is produced and curated by the Development Data Group, in collaboration with more than 200 national statistical offices, over 50 external partners, as well as the Bank's experts in country offices and its Global Practices.

For questions or feedback related to the WDI, contact

Jean Phariste Pharicien
October 23, 2018

My name is Jean Phariste Pharicien. I'm PHD student in urban studies and tourism at UQAM university in Montreal, Canada.
How can I have more statistical database from world bank about research on poverty in the world for working on my thesis?
Best Regards!

Abhimanyu Rathi
October 23, 2018

This is absolutely brilliant. Big purpose driven data easily accessible and understandable is exactly what is required. This will indeed help a lot in reaching SDG and other goals.

Joe Hudgins
October 23, 2018

Great information.

Ganyani Khosa
October 24, 2018

Is it possible for a development programme to have access to the atlas and related tools for purposes of updating data as well as create own indicator sets for tracking and updating. I am interested in inputting, mapping and managing data especially on Regional Vulnerabilities.
Alternatively, is it possible for the WB to assist with capacity for a programme to host the tools on their own servers.

Matthew Kromtit
October 24, 2018

I consider this initiative very useful and timely. The World Bank...always setting the pace

odwe Dennis
October 30, 2018

this is very creative and innovative approach. we should have regular updates on our e-mails and contribute to the discussions how the indicators are doing

Adi Ann Tobechi
November 16, 2018

I want to know data base of persons living in poverty,people that are displaced by boko haram,out of school children and people living with disabilities etc. hi in Nigeria and measures in place to assist.

young s. LEE
September 10, 2019

trying to find economic data, but difficult right data in right place

William Acciu
September 10, 2019

it is crucial countries and the world get history resolved forever and world developed forever at this moment

David Odili
September 10, 2019

Absolutely brilliant!

Bishal Subedi
September 10, 2019

sustainability and data compliment each other. this effort increases efficiency and promotes emperical research.

Behailu woldemicheal
September 10, 2019

data on export and import of Ethiopia since 1970- 2018

September 10, 2019

I like this site and data contents

yasar aydin ugur
November 27, 2019

Most of the data speak by themselves. Fantastic