Below we’ve collected data on countries’ representation at the annual WEF conference at Davos over the years. The first chart shows the number of participants per country plotted against population, with countries colored and scaled by GDP. The second is participation vs. GDP. Explore them here:
In general, the darker countries, which have higher GDPs, are higher up on the chart—meaning they are better represented at Davos—while some countries with very large populations, but smaller GDPs, have considerably fewer participants. A simple line-of-best-fit shows a rough estimate of which countries are “overrepresented” based on their populations—those above the line are overrepresented, those underneath, underrepresented. So in 2016, Indonesia is under the line with a population of 254 million but a WEF delegation of only 14, while Brazil is over the line with a population of 206 million and 27 Davos-goers. (Just a caution: The axes are both on a logarithmic scale and the size and color range of the bubbles have been restricted, so some differences between countries are greater than they appear. You can check the numbers by hovering over the bubbles.) Click through the navigational dots above the chart to see, for instance, how South Africa is overrepresented compared to other African countries (making up more than half of all African delegates), or how Indonesia’s presence at the WEF has grown to reach its ideal representation in terms of their population.
The chart above shows a country’s WEF representation as compared to its GDP, with GDP growth from the preceding year determining the size and shade of the bubbles. One of the more interesting things this chart shows is the impact of the financial crisis of the past 7 years on national GDPs but also on WEF participation, particularly how this fell after the 2008 crash, though only after an initial delay.
You can control which year is shown by clicking on different points on the line chart in the bottom righthand corner, or you can click through the dots at the top to see our guided tour of WEF participation since 2009.