A new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has ranked Belarus as the 50th most developed country out of 189 countries.
The country moved up three spots since the last year, proving it truly belongs to the top tier of the UN human development league. The country shared the spot with Kazakhstan.
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Belarus remains in the group of countries with a very high human development index,” said Alexandra Solovyova, the UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.
The development of human potential in Belarus is characterized by steady growth. This reflects successes in increasing life expectancy, education, and growth of the gross national income (GNI).
For instance, according to the UNDP, in 2000, life expectancy in Belarus was 67,4 years, in 2018 it was 74,6. The average length of schooling in 2000 was 8,9 years, in 2018 – 12.3.
“If we reestimate the human development index taking into account gender inequality, we will see progress happening in Belarus,” the expert explains.
In 2018, the country ranked 27th out of 162 states in terms of the gender inequality index. At the same time, unlike most states, Belarus’ female development index is higher than the male development index.
“Here, such factors as life expectancy are important. In women, it is 10 years more than in men. As well as education and a record low maternal mortality rate (four women die for every 100,000 births).”
However, experts note that gender inequality persists in the Belarusian economy. Women’s participation in the economy is 10% lower than men’s.
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Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong and China, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Singapore, the Netherlands took the first ten spots of the human development ranking.
Among Belarus’ neighbouring countries, Poland has the highest position – 32nd, it is followed by Lithuania, which is 34th, then Latvia 39th. Russia is 49th and Ukraine occupied 88th position.
*The Human Development Index measures the ability to live a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to earn income for a basic standard of living.