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The World Factbook Is Changing

With unrest sweeping the Middle East and economic problems in Europe, The World Factbook is trying to help readers identify the factors that may underlie these social, political, and economic changes. Accordingly, the Factbook is adding new categories of societal data, which—along with other demographic and economic entries—offer additional insight into a country’s economic strength, internal stability, and impact on the environment. After a comprehensive search for datasets that are current and regularly updated, nine new fields have been added, with the World Health Organization and the World Bank providing most of the information.

Eight of these fields appear in the renamed “People and Society” category:

  • Health expenditures (as percent of GDP)
  • Physicians density (per 1,000 people)
  • Hospital bed density (per 1,000 people)
  • Maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 live births)
  • Drinking water source
  • Sanitation facility access
  • Children under the age of five underweight (percent)
  • Obesity – adult prevalence rate


The ninth new field appears in the Economy category:

  • Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

Historical Document
Posted: Nov 18, 2011 03:12 PM
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2013 12:55 PM