United Nations Millennium Development Goals

The UN's Millennium Development Goals provide the big-picture perspective on international development. Using indicators aggregated and collected by the World Bank, try to predict progress towards select MDGs. #development

intermediate practice
feb 2021
3,270 joined


In the year 2000, the member states of the United Nations agreed to a set of goals to measure the progress of global development. The aim of these goals was to increase standards of living around the world by emphasizing human capital, infrastructure, and human rights.

The eight goals are:

  1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. To achieve universal primary education
  3. To promote gender equality and empower women
  4. To reduce child mortality
  5. To improve maternal health
  6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. To ensure environmental sustainability
  8. To develop a global partnership for development

Competition End Date:

Feb. 5, 2021, noon

This competition is for learning and exploring, so the deadline may be extended in the future.


The UN measures progress towards these goals using indicators such as percent of the population making over one dollar per day. Your task is to predict the change in these indicators one year and five years into the future. Predicting future progress will help us to understand how we achieve these goals by uncovering complex relations between these goals and other economic indicators. The UN set 2015 as the target for measurable progress. Given the data from 1972 - 2007, you need to predict a specific indicator for each of these goals in 2008 and 2012.

Remember, this competition is just for fun. While it would be trivial to get the actual results for the years you are predicting, our goal is to build the best predictive models. We ask that you limit yourself to the data for download here when tackling this challenge.

Next Steps

It's time to get down to business. You can start out by researching the issues using the resources below. You could dive headfirst into the data after signing up to compete. You could explore the lay of the land by seeing who has built the best model so far. Or, you can team up with your friends and colleagues to tackle the challenge together.


For more information on the Millennium Development Goals, visit one of the following resources:

For more information on the World Bank data, please visit their data portal: