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Political Science, 101-6-20 Why are Some Countries Richer Than Others?: Getting Started

Development: Quantitative Measures

  • United Nations Demographic Yearbook
    This resource provides a country by country breakdown of key demographics. Areas covered include Population, Fertility, Foetal Mortality, Infant and Maternal Mortality, General Mortality, Nuptiality, and Divorce. The Untied Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs collects data from national statistical services and publishes them in this annual volume.
  • Human Development Report
    Produced annually by the United Nations since 1990, this report examines development in terms of the impact it is having on inhabitants of developing countries. Among areas examined in this report are poverty, education, medical care, nutrition, sustainability, welfare of children among other topics. In addition to lengthy narratives on specific issues, a large number of statistics in the form of tables are presented at the end of this work.
  • World Development Indicators
    This resource provides data on development indicators from over 200 countries. In addition to data in the 2013 edition there are six narratives focusing on the following areas:World View", People, Environment, Economy, States and markets, and Global links. For instance, in section 4 (Economy) you can look up the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for a country and them compare with other statistics from other sections like Maternal Mortality Rate found in Section 2 (People).
  • Atlas of Global Development: A Visual Guide to the World’s Greatest Challenges.
    This online resource provides a graphical representation of various development indicators. In addition it allows you to compare different countries by various themes. For instance a search on the phrase life expectancy" will provide you with a global map representing differing life expectancies and also allow you to zoom into particular regions of the world.
  • World Bank Open Data
    The World Bank Open Data site contains the full World Development Indicators (WDI), Global Development Finance (GDF), and Africa Development Indicators (ADI) as well as several other World Bank databases such as Global Economic Monitor (GEM), Education Statistics, etc... For a full list of data sets available please go to Most of the data is available in Arabic, French, and Spanish in addition to English.

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