Visualizing World Development With Google Gapminder

Last modified on 31st May, 2006


Here’s an interesting application from Google to help you visualize and interact with data from World Development Indicators 2006 from the World Bank.

Each bubble on the scatter plot represents a country. The size of the bubble represents the population of the country while its position is determined by the x-axis and y-axis which can be anything from income per capita to life expectancy.

Some interesting observations:

1. Select colour by Income groups and click on the ‘Map’ tab. See how the bubble moves into position representing each country income level.

2. Sometime in 1992, Malaysia per capita income and life expectancy matched those of 1975 Singapore. As we steadily improve, so does Singapore.

Let’s just hope it won’t take us another 17 years (year 2023) before we could enjoy the same per capita income and life expectancy as those of Singapore.

3. Malaysia and South Korea have similar life expectancy and income per capita during the sixties and early seventies. Both countries steadily improve throughout the years until 1984 when Korea started to increase its income and life expectancy more rapidly leaving Malaysia behind. If this trend continues, I believe South Korea is going to match and overtake Singapore in a couple of years.

4. Check out Zimbabwe Life expectancy trend. During the last 20 years the life expectancy falls with more than one year, per year due to the devastating HIV epidemics.

There’s no Brunei in the list of countries.

Do you find any interesting trend? Check out Google Gapminder here

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