Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures2016 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Explanatory notes


The term “billion” signifies 1,000 million. The term “dollar” (US$) refers to United States of America dollars, and data in dollars, unless otherwise specified, are expressed in current United States dollars of the year to which they refer.

Economies, countries and country groupings

The classifications of countries and economies in this publication have been adopted solely for the purposes of analytical or statistical convenience and do not necessarily imply any judgement concerning the stage of development of a particular country or area.

There is no established convention for the designation of "developed" and “developing” countries/economies or regions in the United Nations system. In common practice, Israel and Japan in Asia; Bermuda, Canada, Greenland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States in northern America; Australia and New Zealand in Oceania; and Europe are considered “developed”. “Transition economies” refer to South-East Europe, Georgia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Developing countries include all countries/economies not specified above. Furthermore, several naming and compositional conventions are employed to describe regions. Given the wide variety of data sources used in this report, it is inevitable that discrepancies across the classifications will arise. For example, several different regional classifications are employed in this report.

In as far as is possible, UNCTAD regional groupings or compositions and their respective labels have been used throughout the report. In cases where it was not possible to employ standardized UNCTAD classifications or country groupings, a link has been provided to the original source report. Links to original sources are also clearly identified in tables and figures where appropriate. Readers will note the term countries and economies are sometimes used interchangeably in a single chapter, reflecting the variable use of these terms by different organizations.

Other classifications

This report utilizes a wide variety of data from numerous sources. While every effort has been made to use standard United Nations and UNCTAD classifications, it has not always been possible. Where practicable, links to the original classification descriptions and annexes are provided so that readers can access the original source metadata.

Source data

All of the tables, figures and maps presented in this report have been constructed specially for this report, even if they are reproductions of tables, figures or maps sourced from other reports. Where possible the actual source data cited in these reports has been used to reconstruct the tables, figures and maps presented. In some cases, bespoke data have been received directly from report authors, in others indicators have been derived. In all cases the source is clearly marked and explained in the sources and notes accompanying tables, figures and maps.