Viewing 1800-Present Cote d’Ivoire With Gapminder

To demonstrate the usefulness of Gapminder, we analyzed the history of Cote d’Ivoire between 1800 and the 2014. While most statistics for the Ivory Coast were absent from the site, plotting Life Expectancy versus Per Capita Income yielded an impressive amount of information. We begin with the entire graph:


A few things jump out when looking at this graph. First, a climb in the life expectancy occurs at around 1948, and continues until 1980. This is shown below. Naturally, we ask, “What happened between the years 1948 and 1980 that would cause such an increase in the life expectancy? A bit of research yielded a few things that could have contributed to such a change:

1) In 1944, the first agricultural trade union for cocoa farmers was established by Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
2) On August 7th, 1960, Cote d’Ivoire became it’s own entity, independent from France.

These two occurrences in particular increased agricultural exports and foreign investment in the Ivory Coast. Unfortunately, investment information for the Ivory Coast is not yet available on Gapminder.

During the 80s, a global recession occurred, which took a heavy toll on the Ivory Coast. While their old colonists, France, continued to climb in life expectancy and GDP/capita, Ivorian life expectancy stagnated and GDP/capita decreased. This was spurred by local drought, as well as political corruption. Political corruption, in particular, continued to have a massive impact, spurring two civil wars between 2002-2003 and 2010-2011.