What do the abbreviations mean?

Throughout the data portal we use the following abbreviations for income classifications, geographic regions, climate classifications and data transformations.

Income classifications

Visit the page on World Bank Country and Lending Groups for more details. The income groups and colors used in this portal always refer to the most recent classifications.

Abbreviation Description
HIC High income
UMIC Upper middle income
LMIC Lower middle income
LIC Lower income

Geographic regions

Visit the page on World Bank Units for more details on regional units.

Abbreviation Description
EAP East Asia & Pacific
ECA Europe & Central Asia
LAC Latin America & the Caribbean
MENA Middle East & North Africa
NA North America
SA South Asia
SSA Sub-Saharan Africa

Climate Classifications

Visit the page on Köppen-Geiger Climate Classifications for more details. In this Portal we assign countries to one of the five top-level classifications — Arid, Cold, Polar, Temperate, Tropical . We assign Mixed for countries when none of the previous five classes is unambigously prevalent.

Abbreviation Code Description
Arid BWh
Arid, desert, hot
Arid, desert, cold
Arid, steppe, hot
Arid, steppe, cold
Cold Dsa
Cold, dry summer, hot summer
Cold, dry summer, warm summer
Cold, dry summer, cold summer
Cold, dry summer, very cold winter
Cold, dry winter, hot summer
Cold, dry winter, warm summer
Cold, dry winter, cold summer
Cold, dry winter, very cold winter
Cold, no dry season, hot summer
Cold, no dry season, warm summer
Cold, no dry season, cold summer
Cold, no dry season, very cold winter
Polar ET
Polar, tundra
Polar, frost
Temperate Csa
Temperate, dry summer, hot summer
Temperate, dry summer, warm summer
Temperate, dry summer, cold summer
Temperate, dry winter, hot summer
Temperate, dry winter, warm summer
Temperate, dry winter, cold summer
Temperate, no dry season, hot summer
Temperate, no dry season, warm summer
Temperate, no dry season, cold summer
Tropical Af
Tropical, rainforest
Tropical, monsoon
Tropical, savannah


For the visualizations we employ the following basic transformations.

Abbreviation   Description
Log10 Logarithm with base 10
For indicators with large negative numbers (net migration or imports), the sign is maintained but the transformation is applied to the absolute value. For growth rates, no transformation is applied
Diff First differences
Calculates the difference between t and t-1, if both values are available.
Growth Simple growth rate
Calculates the difference between t and t-1 and divides it over the value at t-1.
Min-max Min-max scaling
Normalizes the data such that the values lie between 0 and 1.
Z-score Z-score
Transforms the data such that it has mean 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

Why are there gaps and missing observations in the data?

The ESG Data Portal relies on data from trusted and credible sources. The portal therefore depends on the updating frequency of the individual sources. You can find the current coverage on the Framework page.

Gaps can occur for various reasons. Temporal gaps may occur when the underlying data series discontinued or the updating interval exceeds the annual frequency used in the portal. Coverage gaps across countries may be related to the statistical capacity of the national statistical offices.

For a more details, see the World Bank's Statistical Performance Indicator.

What is the ingrained income bias?

The ingrained income bias (or simply "income bias" or "wealth bias") is the phenomenon that sovereign ESG indicators of richer countries tend to be higher while those of poorer economies tend to be lower. In other words, sovereign ESG indicators are highly correlated with a country's income. In the graph below, we proxy income with a country's per capita GDP (in current US$) on the horizontal axis.

What licenses apply when using ESG data?

The World Bank Group makes data publicly available according to open data standards and licenses datasets under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC-BY 4.0). Many datasets are available under other licenses. They are labeled accordingly, and when users access them, users agree to comply with all of the terms of the respective licenses, as explained here: Data Access and Licensing

Since the ESG data portal relies on data from trusted and credible sources, see for each indicator what the use policies are. You can find these at the bottom of each Indicators page under Indicator details.