Report chapters

You will require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar to view PDF files.

Full Report

Executive Summary



Economy and Governance

Health, Education and Work

Regional summaries

South Asia

Young students sitting in a wooden school building.

South East Asia

The front of a canoe, in bright blue water.


The Caribbean

Central America

South America

Central and Southern Africa

A lizard jumping from one rock to another, blue sky in in the background.

Northern Africa and the Middle East


The climates of the Tropics and how they are changing

Blair Trewin, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

Trewin explores the Tropics from a climatologist’s perspective – covering what makes a climate tropical and the key drivers of rainfall, temperature and wind patterns.


The impacts of climate change in the Tropics

Richard T. Corlett, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science, China

Corlett provides an objective analysis of what we do and don’t know about the impacts of climate change in the Tropics. There are still many unknowns about how climate change will impact the Tropics but what is clear is that rising temperatures and changing rainfall regimes will have huge impacts on a region which has remained climatically stable for the past three million years.

A man cooking food in a large metal pot. In the background plastic chairs, thatch walls and dirt floors.

Health in the Tropics

Professor Janet Hemingway, Director, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Hemingway discusses the progress made in health care across the Tropics but acknowledges that the ongoing burden of infectious diseases and the rise of non-communicable diseases will provide ongoing challenges for the future.


Tropical underdevelopment, is it a thing of the past?

Dennis Trewin, former Statistician, Australia

Trewin explores the seminal work of Jeffrey Sachs around underdevelopment in the Tropics with the updated data from the State of the Tropics report – some things have changed but there is still some way for tropical nations to go.

A bustling city highway. Three lanes of traffic running each way beneath a bridge.

Expansion of the Tropics: evidence and implications

Jo Isaac and Steve Turton, James Cook University, Australia

Isaac and Turton examine the evidence for an expanding tropical zone and the implications for ecosystems and communities throughout the Tropics and sub-tropics.


Early insights

Early insight reports from the 2014 State of the Tropics report, available in English and Spanish.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is the average number of years a person can expect to live given existing mortality patterns, and considers the most fundamental health question: “How long can I expect to live?”


Primary Forests

It is now recognised that much of the human exploitation of forests has been at the expense of biodiversity and ecosystem functions, such as water and climate regulation and carbon storage.


Wild Marine Catch

The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and contain around 97% of its water. It is also estimated that 25% of all species diversity exists in the oceans (of which, 91% is still undescribed).


Early insights en español

Esperanza de vida

Bosques primarios

Captura marina salvaje

Short Stories from the Tropics

During the development of the State of the Tropics report, across 50 social, economic and environmental indicators, a number of cross cutting issues emerged. Some of these issues are explored here in a series of short, visual narratives.

Data in the Tropics

In the Tropics there are many small nations with small populations and surface areas coupled with limited capacity to provide high quality data to multilateral organisations.


Grand Challenges

Infographics highlighting four Grand Challenges for the Tropics: Ecological resilience, Human wellbeing, Resource security, and Good governance.


Tropical Infrastructure

The State of the Tropics report explored different elements of infrastructure across a range of indicators including urbanisation, information communication
technology, transport, improved water and sanitation and gross capital formation.


Women in the Tropics

Across many indicators in the State of the Tropics reports, the importance and vulnerability of women throughout the tropics has emerged as an important theme.