The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development

Back to search

The World Bank is pleased to release the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. With over 150 maps and data visualizations, the new publication charts the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs.

The Atlas is part of the World Development Indicators (WDI) family of products that offer high-quality, cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe. You can:

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their associated 169 targets are ambitious. They will be challenging to implement, and challenging to measure. The Atlas offers the perspective of experts in the World Bank on each of the SDGs.

For example, the interactive treemap below illustrates how the number and distribution of people living in extreme poverty has changed between 1990 and 2013. The reduction in the number of poor in East Asia and Pacific is dramatic, and despite the decline in the Sub-Saharan Africa’s extreme poverty rate to 41 percent in 2013, the region’s population growth means that 389 million people lived on less than $1.90/day in 2013 - 113 million more than in 1990.

The Atlas includes data that are being published in the WDI for the first time, and discusses various methodological issues. For example, there’s now data on access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, and there are discussions on refining measurements of access to clean water, access to electricity, and establishing better definitions for the term “urban”

It discusses new methods to measure SDG indicators related to universal health care, securing land rights, measuring road accessibility in rural areas. These are so-called “Tier 3” SDG indicators because of new or untested methodologies and insufficient data coverage.

Chapter 11 discusses how the terms “urban” and “rural” have no consistent international definitions in spite of being routinely used to describe environments and the lives of those within them.

Chapter 6 presents data on access to water, and how measurement in this area is evolving. The “unimproved–improved” water source  distinction is being replaced by “safely managed” services in a new monitoring framework.

In Chapter 3, data from the WHO, OECD and World Bank are combined to show that health care financing in many low- and middle-income countries is still dominated by high out-of-pocket expenditures.

The Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals draws on World Development Indicators, a database of over 1,400 indicators for more than 220 economies, many going back more than 50 years. It relies on the work of national and international statistical agencies around the world. The professionals working in these agencies play a crucial role in measuring and quantifying the development process, so that we can all make better decisions about our lives and the scarce resources we all manage.

From the World Bank, the Atlas presents the perspective of subject matter experts in our Global Practices and Cross-Cutting Solution Areas and of data experts in the World Bank Data team. We’ve worked together to share the best of our institution’s knowledge and data, in a manner we hope is engaging, understandable and that ultimately informs the development community’s thinking.

Accessing the data

All the data in World Development Indicators and The Atlas is available completely free of charge, as part of the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative. A complete list of tools to access, explore, and interact with WDI 2017 and the SDG Atlas are available at and include:

Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017 : From World Development Indicators. World Bank Atlas;. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Explore World Development Indicators 2017   and  dashboards  for Sustainable Development Goals

These dashboards present data from the World Development Indicators (WDI) that help to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but they are not always the official indicators for SDG monitoring. Choose Explore to explore all the Goals and Targets, or Selected Indicators to compare two economies side-by-side for a selection of indicators.


Data, analysis and visualization on the 17 SDGs

1. No poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

2. Zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

3. Good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

4. Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

5. Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

6. Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

7. Affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

8. Decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all

9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

10. Reduced inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

12. Responsible consumption and production

Reduce inequality within and among countries

13. Climate action

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

14. Life below water

Reduce inequality within and among countries

15. Life on land

Reduce inequality within and among countries

16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

17. Partnership for global development

Reduce inequality within and among countries