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Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2007

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2007

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Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia is the 38th edition of the flagship annual statistical data book of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It presents the latest available economic, financial, social, environmental, and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicators for regional members of ADB. Data are grouped under MDG and Regional Tables. Nontechnical explanations and brief analyses of the MDG achievements and economic, financial, social, and environmental developments are included. The regional tables are largely based on a comprehensive set of country tables.
Key Indicators 2007: Inequality in Asia is the 38th edition of the flagship annual statistical data book of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It presents the latest available economic, financial, social, environmental, and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicators for regional members of ADB. Data are grouped under MDG and Regional Tables. Nontechnical explanations and brief analyses of the MDG achievements and economic, financial, social, and environmental developments are included. The regional tables are largely based on a comprehensive set of country tables.

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Published by: Asian Development Bank on Feb 24, 2011
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Volume 38
KEY INDICATORS 2007 
 

© 2007 Asian Development BankAll rights reserved.This book was prepared by staff and consultants of theAsian Development Bank (ADB). The analyses
and assessments contained herein do not necessarily reect
the views of the Asian Development Bank, or its Boardof Directors, or the governments its membersrepresent.ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the dataincluded in this publication and accepts no responsibilityfor any consequences of their use.The term “country” as used in the context of ADB,refers to a member of ADB and does not imply anyview on the part of ADB as to the members sovereigntyor independent status.Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City1550 Metro Manila, PhilippinesTel + 63 2 632 4444Fax + 63 2 636 2444www.adb.orgISBN 971-561-624-9ISSN 0116-3000Publication Stock No. 071007
 

FOREWORD
Key Indicators 2007 
is the 38
th
edition that presents a set of comprehensive social and economicannual data series on the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) developing member countries (DMCs).It is also the 7
th
edition that has a special chapter examining the measurement aspects of a key issuepervading the region. This year’s special chapter is titled “Inequality in Asia.”This edition has 38 regional tables that compare indicators of the Millennium DevelopmentGoals and other key statistics across the 44 DMCs and 45 country tables, each with 8-year data
series on social, economic, and nancial statistics. The special chapter and statistical tables are also
published on the ADB website (http:
// 
www.adb.org
statistics).We value the contribution of DMC governments and international agencies that provideddata and information for the
Key Indicators
. These data that we compiled were also uploaded to ourcentral databasethe Statistical Database System (SDBS). As part of ADB’s role as a key knowledgebank for developing countries in the region and to support the development community and policymakers, we made available a subset of SDBS to the general public, through the Internet, beginning16 May 2007 (http:
// 
sdbs.adb.org).To further enhance the tracking of progress and understanding of the key issues affecting
the region, household survey data, which are also the bases of some ofcial statistics reported in
the
Key Indicators
, were further analyzed in the special chapter. In particular, data on expenditureand income distributions were analyzed to describe trends in inequality. Factors accounting for
inequality as well as increases in inequality were also identied using these survey data. Based onthis analysis, the chapter nds that measures of relative inequality have increased in many DMCs
over roughly 10 years, spanning the early 1990s to the early 2000s.
Signicantly, the special chapter notes that increases in inequality have typically taken place
alongside increases in average expenditures and incomes at all points of the distribution. Thus,the increases in inequality in Asia are not so much a phenomenon of “the rich growing richer andthe poor growing poorer.” Instead, a more accurate description of the situation is one where therich have grown richer faster than the poor. The fact that the poor have also seen their incomesand expenditures increase has meant that poverty rates have been declining in the region despitegrowing inequality.Nevertheless, rising inequality is of concern. In addition to the fact that it can dampen the
benecial impact of economic growth on poverty reduction, rising inequality can also weaken social
cohesion and adversely affect prospects for economic growth. For these reasons, policy makers willneed to pay considerable attention to ensuring that growth is inclusive.The special chapter is a good example of how a complex issue such as inequality can be examinedobjectively through data-intensive research. We will continue to undertake such research and usenew technologies to improve the
Key Indicators
so that it could be more responsive in tracking thedevelopment in the region.Haruhiko KurodaPresident

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