Medical doctors per 1,000 people

What you should know about this indicator

Physicians include generalist and specialist medical practitioners.

Limitations and exceptions: The WHO compiles data from household and labor force surveys, censuses, and administrative records. Data comparability is limited by differences in definitions and training of medical personnel varies. In addition, human resources tend to be concentrated in urban areas, so that average densities do not provide a full picture of health personnel available to the entire population.

Statistical concept and methodology: Health systems - the combined arrangements of institutions and actions whose primary purpose is to promote, restore, or maintain health (World Health Organization, World Health Report 2000) - are increasingly being recognized as key to combating disease and improving the health status of populations. The World Bank's Healthy Development: Strategy for Health, Nutrition, and Population Results emphasizes the need to strengthen health systems, which are weak in many countries, in order to increase the effectiveness of programs aimed at reducing specific diseases and further reduce morbidity and mortality. To evaluate health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that key components - such as financing, service delivery, workforce, governance, and information - be monitored using several key indicators. The data are a subset of the key indicators. Monitoring health systems allows the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of different health system models to be compared. Health system data also help identify weaknesses and strengths and areas that need investment, such as additional health facilities, better health information systems, or better trained human resources.

Data on health worker (physicians, nurses and midwives, and community health workers) density show the availability of medical personnel.

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
per 1,000 people

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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“Data Page: Medical doctors per 1,000 people”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from Data compiled from multiple sources by World Bank. Retrieved from [online resource]
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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Medical doctors per 1,000 people” [dataset]. Data compiled from multiple sources by World Bank, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 24, 2024 from