The World Bank has made its extensive store of developmental data available to all free of charge.

Now more than two thousand health, economic, human development, financial and business statistics will be accessible via their website, In the past such information has generally only been available to paying subscribers.

The decision is part of the World Bank’s broader effort to increase access to information and it hopes that a varied range of users, from researchers to journalists and from entrepreneurs to school children will draw on this new resource, available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.


The Bank hopes to reach new audiences and foster a greater commitment to development issues. In order to distribute its information as widely as possible, it has also partnered with Google to make nearly 40 development indicators more accessible via the search engine.

Designed to be simple to navigate, user friendly and interactive, the website holds data from more than 200 countries and those visiting will be able to download entire datasets for any given country. The information comes from a variety of sources including the Bank’s 186 member states, partners in both the public and private sectors and more than 30 international agencies. The site uses data from a number of fellow United Nations organisations and the extensive health section, for example, draws on information from UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Division, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, among other sources.

The agency’s new open data policy has been welcomed by researchers and development professionals world wide

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