Monitoring Economic Development from Space: Using Nighttime Light and Land Cover Data to Measure Economic Growth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study demonstrates estimations of economic activities on global, national, and subnational levels using remote sensing data, with a focus on developing economies. It extends a recent statistical framework which uses nighttime lights to estimate official income growth by accounting for agriculture and forestry which emit less or no additional observable nighttime light. The study argues that nighttime lights alone may not explain value-added by agriculture and forestry. By adding land cover data, our framework can be used to estimate economic growth in administrative areas of virtually any size. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Souknilanh Keola
  • Magnus Andersson
  • Ola Hall
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Geography


  • remote sensing, economic growth, land cover, MODIS, gross domestic, product, gross regional product
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-334
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch