When all countries with data are plotted, the pattern that emerges shows that under-five mortality rates and malnutrition rates generally decrease with increasing GNP, whereas the percentage of children reaching grade 5 generally increases with GNP. For each variable, a line was fitted to match the overall shape of the data points, using a least-squares regression method. GNP data for 1993 were used in plotting the graphs except in the case of underweight children, where the data were matched with GNP data for the same reference year.
The adjusted R-squared for the lines thus drawn varied from a little more than 0.4 in the case of the percentage of children underweight to a little over 0.7 for the under-five mortality rate. Such values show that while there is a general trend linking each variable with GNP, many individual countries diverge considerably from this trend.
It is this lack of conformity with the trend line - the expected level of performance -which yields the national performance gaps for each country. The tables show national performance gaps in bold type.