221 Hospital Beds


The World Bank, from which these data were sourced, includes inpatient beds available in public, private, general, and specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centres as ‘hospital beds’. In most cases beds for both acute and chronic care are included.

In 2002 there were over 19 million hospital beds in the world, 313 beds per 100,000 people.

Data sources

Source: World Bank’s 2005 World Development Indicators, Series on Hospital beds (per 1,000 people). Secondary sources include: World Health Organization, OECD, “TransMONEE”, supplemented by the World Bank using country data.

The most recent data from 1997-2001 is used and where that is not available the highest ratio of beds to people in the years 1960-1996 is used.

The table on the poster does not feature Sao Tome and Principe as having the highest number of hospital beds per population, despite the data showing that it does. This is because other sources suggest that the number of hospital beds in this territory is not exceptionally high. Below are quote from and links to such sources:

1. "MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical facilities in São Tomé and Príncipe are extremely limited. There is one hospital in the country, on the island of Sao Tome , and several clinics. However, the level of care is low. For all but minor medical needs, it is necessary to travel to Libreville ( Gabon ), Lisbon ( Portugal ), or elsewhere. Additionally, some medicines are not available; travelers should carry properly labeled required medicines and medications with them. " This was sourced from the following website in October 2006:


2. "In one corner of the village square - which doubles as a football-pitch - there's a little hospital being built by Taiwanese; they'll do such things for micro-states like Sao Tome e Principe, if the government declares Taipei to be the capital of China." The building of this hospital suggests that there are not already a high number of hospital beds in this territory. The quotation was sourced from the following website in October 2006:


3. For a world map of the hospital beds per 10,000 persons, see the webpage below (accessed in November 2006):


Click here to view detailed data source references

The quotation used for hospital beds was sourced from an article in the Kathmandu Post. The article was entitled ‘Patients suffer in lack of accommodation. The article was published on Monday 2nd June, 2003 (or Jestha 19, 2060 on the Nepalese calendar). The article was accessed from the website below in September 2006:


Excel sheets

Below is an explanation of each of the columns in the excel file:

Column A = Unique numerical territory (see 001).

Column B = Region and territory names (see 001).

Column C = Region code (see 001).

Column D = The ISO 3 code, or ISO ALPHA-3 (see 001).

Column E = Hospital beds, in thousands in 2002. This is calculated by multiplying the number of hospital beds per 10000 people in 2002 (Column F) by the population in millions in 2002 (Column G), this is then divided by 10 to put the number into thousands. (E = F * G /10).

Column F = Hospital beds per 10,000 in the population, in 2002 or most recent data. This is taken from the source data selecting the most recent data on hospital beds between the years 1997 and 2002. If there is no data available here, the highest value for the years 1960-1996 is used*. If there are still no data for a particular territory, the regional average is assumed.

Column G = Population in millions, in 2002. See the technical notes for ‘Total Population’ for the sources of this data (002).

*Using the highest ratio of beds to people is based on the assumption that the availability of beds is more likely to increase than decrease over time.