A World Bank Data Dive - Visualizing Environmental Health and Child Mortality in 2013

Features

  • Author: Lillian Pierson P.E.
  • Date: 14 Mar 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The World Bank has recently published The Little Green Data Book 2013. Visualizing the statistics published in this book gives an eye-opening view into environmental health trends and living conditions in most of the world. Be warned, some of these figures can be rather alarming to those who are accustomed to a western standard of living. Have a look for yourself.

World Bank Development Indicators, by Region

East Asia and Pacific
The East Asia and Pacific region had a population of 1974.2 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $4,248. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 4.3% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 1.7% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.0%.

In 2013, 66% of the people living in the East Asia and Pacific region had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 21 of 1000 (2.1%) of children under the age of five died.

Europe and Central Asia
The World Bank Analytical Region, Europe and Central Asia, had a population of 408.1 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $7,734. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 9.3% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 0.8% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.0%.

In 2013, 84% of the people living in the Europe and Central Asia region had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 21 of 1000 (2.1%) of children under the age of five died.

thumbnail image: A World Bank Data Dive - Visualizing Environmental Health and Child Mortality in 2013

Latin America and the Caribbean
The Latin America and the Caribbean region had a population of 589 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $8,574. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 4.5% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 1.9% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.0%.

In 2013, 79% of the people living in the Latin America and the Caribbean region had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 19 of 1000 (1.9%) of children under the age of five died.

Middle East and North Africa
The Middle East and North Africa region had a population of 336.5 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $3,866. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 15.2% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 0.6% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.1%.

In 2013, 88% of the people living in the Middle East and North Africa regions had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 32 of 1000 (3.2%) of children under the age of five died.

South Asia
The South Asia region had a population of 1656.5 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $1,313. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 2.8% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 1.0% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.6%.

In 2013, 38% of the people living in the South Asia regions had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 62 of 1000 (6.2%) of children under the age of five died.

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Sub-Saharan Africa region had a population of 874.8 million in 2013. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2013 was $1,258. The value of the region’s energy resources that were depleted in 2013 was 10.4% of the GNI. In contrast, the value of the region’s mineral resources that were depleted in 2013 was 2.2% of the regional GNI and the value of net forest depletion was 0.5%.

In 2013, 31% of the people living in the Sub-Saharan Africa regions had access to improved sanitation facilities. This same year, 109 of 1000 (10.9%) of children under the age of five died.

In general, the World Bank Development Data shows a correlation between dramatic increases in access to improved sanitation facilities and dramatic decreases in the death rate of children under the age of 5. A deep dive into the data indicates that, although there is some correlation between these trends, there is no clear line of causation that can be demonstrated consistently throughout the data set.

A Summary of Regional Development Statistics

South Asia region and East Asia and Pacific region are the more heavily populated regions of the developing world, while the Middle East and North Africa region was the most sparsely populated region in 2013.

According to per capita Gross National Income figures (via the World Bank Atlas Method), the people of Latin America and Caribbean region and Europe and Central Asia region of the developing world have the highest gross national income of all regions in the developing world. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest gross national income rates.

In 2013, the Middle East and North Africa region underwent significantly greater depletion of its energy resources than its mineral or forest resources. The same is also true for the Europe and Central Asia region. In contrast, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as East Asia and Pacific, both underwent comparatively more mineral resource depletion in 2013. South Asia was the only region to show comparatively high depletion rates for net forest reserves.

Trends indicate that populations of regions with higher child mortality rates also have less access to improved sanitation facilities.

Global Sanitation Access and Child Mortality Statistics

Zimbabwe
Between the years of 1990 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Zimbabwe who had access to improved sanitation facilities decreased slightly, from 40.5% to 40.2%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died increased slightly, from 7.4% to 9.52%.

Lesotho
Between the years of 1994 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Lesotho who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased slightly, from 24.1% to 26.3%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died increased slightly, from 8.45% to 10.21%.

Swaziland
Between the years of 1990 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Swaziland who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased moderately, from 48.5% to 57%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died increased slightly, from 7.09% to 8.49%.

Botswana
Between the years of 1990 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Botswana who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased dramatically, from 38.6% to 64%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died increased slightly, from 4.8% to 5.6%.

Lao PDR
Between the years of 1994 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Lao PDR who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased dramatically, from 20.1% to 61.5%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died decreased dramatically, from 16.2% to 7.49%.

Rwanda
Between the years of 1990 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Rwanda who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased dramatically, from 31.5% to 61.3%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died decreased dramatically, from 15.09% to 5.89%.

Nepal
Between the years of 1990 and 2011, the percentage of people living in Nepal who had access to improved sanitation facilities increased dramatically, from 6.7% to 35.4%. During these same years, the percentage of children under the age of five that died decreased dramatically, from 14.19% to 4.35%.


Conclusions on Sanitation and Child Mortality Statistics

In general, the World Bank Development Data shows that there is a correlation between dramatic increases in access to improved sanitation facilities and dramatic decreases in the death rate of children under the age of 5. It makes sense that as access to sanitation increases, mortality rates decrease. That would be the logical starting assumption.

What’s surprising about this data though, is that this is not always the case. In places like Botswana, the data shows that there was an increase in access to improved sanitation in the same time period that there was a fairly sharp increase in child mortality. This fact demonstrates that there are other critical factors affecting child mortality in Botswana. It goes to show that humanitarian relief and development work is not as straight-forward as one might logically assume.

Taking a closer look at Botswana during the years of 1990 and 2011, we find other troubling circumstances that effect child mortality. Besides the problem of lack of access to sanitation infrastructure, children in Botswana have been affected by:

• Nutrition-related Low Birth Weight
• Nutrition-related Stunting and Wasting
• HIV / AIDS
• Orphan Status due to HIV / AIDS
• Child Labor Practices

The end conclusion is that, in any given nation, increasing access to improved sanitation will likely coincide with a decrease in child mortality, but this will not always be the case. Sometimes problems in developing nations are so much more complicated. In countries that are affected by civil unrest, mal-nutrition, high HIV / AIDS rates, and other devastating circumstances, improving access to sanitation infrastructure is just a small drop in the bucket. In these nations a more rigorous and comprehensive approach must be taken if progress is to be made.

Sources:
The World Bank, The Little Green Data Book 2013
The World Bank, Data – Indicators: Aid Effectiveness (Improved Sanitation Facilities)
The World Bank, Data – Indicators: Aid Effectiveness (Mortality Rate, under-5)

References

Country Composition of World Bank Analytical Regions
Europe and Central Asia
American Samoa, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Democratic Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
Europe and Central Asia
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Middle East and North Africa
Algeria, Djibouti, Arab Republic of Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, West Bank and Gaza, Republic of Yemen.
South Asia
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
Sub-Saharan Africa
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer

Address:

This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on StatisticsViews.com are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and StatisticsViews.com express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.