03 May 2012

Visualizing the Unbanked

Good infographic on financial inclusion. Too bad it only discusses mobile banking as one of the outcomes. Whether you like microfinance or not, it has been an important way to bring banking to the poor and its various forms and innovations across the world are quite impressive.

This is all a part of a glut of new data. According to David Roodman, the World Bank has released some 84,788 new data points on financial inclusion. 
It’s clear from the work done so far (led, I believe, by Asli Demirguc-Kunt, and co-authored by Leora Klapper), as well as from the outreach effort, that the World Bank was the right institution for the job. The data set appears to be of high quality. Ditto for the “metadata,” which tell number-crunchers like me exactly how variables are defined and stored. The project’s home page offers an almost bewildering slate of options for exploring the data. The technical paper is quite readable and contains lots of good figures and tables. CGAP’s main blog is running a series on the implications of the new data. (Don’t missJonathan Morduch’s piece reconciling the macroview from this data set with the micro view from Portfolios of the Poor.)
Read his full post for an overview of the data and some interesting facts that he highlights.