The most business-friendly countries in 2016

grafica leaflet slow data

infographic with world bank index ease of doing business

Which is the most business-friendly country, according to World Bank?

Reading about the internazionalization of italian SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises, < 250 employees) I discovered an interesting indicator provided by the World Bank. It is called ‘Ease of doing business’ and it is used to rank economies worldwide on their business-friendliness regulations (1=most business-friendly regulations).

Rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate ‘distance to frontier’ scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weigth to each topic. More information on the methodologies can be found here

In R there is a package to access World Bank data so you can avoid the hassle of downloading, importing, reformatting missing values and so on…

World Bank Data

Access data

Fine, but I’d like to have as well all the 10 components behind the index.

As of March 2017 these dimesions are not available from API…

…so I downloaded them manually from here in excel format.

Clean data

Unfortunately there are no iso2c codes in here

Some countries in the two datasets do not match. This is because in the data downloaded from website there is also the index decomposed at the level of cities for some countries. We are not interested to that now. But there are also mismatches due to different names for the same country and we need to fix this.

Convert ranking columns to numeric

Now that names match we can merge

Are we getting the same data for the overall doingBusiness index??

Well, actually not. Probably info from API are not updated, let’s use what I found on the website (as of 29/03/2017).

World admnistrative borders

Access borders from natural earth website


Preparing plotting data

Cleaning before matching world bank and natural Earth datasets


Prepare libraries for plotting

Overall ranking

Starting a Business ranking

Dealing with Construction Permits-Rank ranking

Dealing with Construction Permits-Rank

Registering Property-Rank

Getting Credit-Rank

Protecting Minority Investors-Rank

Paying Taxes-Rank

Trading Across Borders-Rank

Enforcing Contracts-Rank

Resolving Insolvency-Rank

Prepare map background


This map can be heavy to load, but it allows to explore all the dimensions of the index at once by changing layer of visualization.

Saving plot

For all code visit this repo on GitHub.

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