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9 Dec 2019

UNDP: Belarus ranks 50th in 2019 human development index

UNDP: Belarus ranks 50th in 2019 human development index
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MINSK, 9 December (BelTA) – The 2019 Human Development Report (HDR), entitled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century” was presented in Minsk on 9 December. Belarus has risen to the 50th place in the global ranking, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus has risen by three positions and now shares 50th place with Kazakhstan on the human development index of 189 countries. Russia is one notch ahead, some countries of the region are behind. Belarus is among the countries with a high level of human development,” UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Alexandra Solovieva said.

She explained that the Human Development Index (HDI) is based on the open statistics across three main indicators: life expectancy at birth, literacy and mean years of schooling, and the gross national income (GNI) per capita. Taking into account the focus of this year's report - inequality and ways to overcome it - the HDI has been inequality-adjusted. “When we adjust the HDI taking into account inequality, we see that Belarus loses 6% of its figure. Meanwhile the countries with very high HDI lose more than 10%. This shows that the situation with equality in Belarus is positive,” Alexandra Solovieva said.

In terms of the gender issue, Belarus has positive indicators too. “The women’s Human Development Index is higher in Belarus than in Europe and Asia. Interestingly, unlike most states, it is even higher than the index of men's development,” Alexandra Solovieva informed. The reasons include a large gap in life expectancy between men and women (almost 10 years), high levels of education for women (on average, 15.7 years), and a record low maternal mortality rate: it was 4 women per 100,000 in 2018 and 2 women per 100,000 in 2019. But gender inequality persists in the economy. Women's participation in the economy is more than 10% lower than that of men. This is the area where additional efforts are required,” the UNDP permanent representative noted. It is worth adding that, according to the Belarusian Statistics Committee, the difference in income of men and women does not exceed 25%.

In general, the human potential development in Belarus has been progressive. From 1995 to 2018, the HDI value increased by 24.5%. Life expectancy rose by 3.9 years during this period, the mean years of schooling by 3.8 years and the expected years of schooling by 2.5 years. Gross national income per capita increased by 103.8%.

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