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WDR 2009: Mapping Global Economic Geography

World Development Report Archives

World Development Report 2009

Places do well when they promote transformations along the dimensions of economic geography: higher densities as cities grow; shorter distances as workers and businesses migrate closer to density; and fewer divisions as nations lower their economic borders and enter world markets to take advantage of scale and trade in specialized products.

World Development Report 2009 concludes that the transformations along these three are essential for development and should be encouraged.

The maps below view the world through the lens of economic geography. Click to enlarge.
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The biggest development challenges---at the local, national, and international geographic scales.

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The biggest development challenges—at the local, national, and international geographic scales

Market access distinguishes world regions

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Market access distinguishes world regions

Distances can be long even in the developed world

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Distances can be long even in the developed world

Global GDP is concentrated in a few world regions, 2006

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Global GDP is concentrated in a few world regions, 2006

Some borders are much wider than others

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Some borders are much wider than others

Forty-three countries do not have direct access to the coast

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Forty-three countries do not have direct access to the coast

Currently prosperous parts of the world were formerly malarious

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Currently prosperous parts of the world were formerly malarious

Busy seafaring in the North, little landfall in the South

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Busy seafaring in the North, little landfall in the South

Being near prosperous places is important but not enough

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Being near prosperous places is important but not enough

Density, distance and division combine to determine access to markets

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Density, distance and division combine to determine access to markets

Potential access to major world markets

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Potential access to major world markets distinguishes the developing world's regions



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