Life-Quality Index Ranks Ukraine Low

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine ranked 76th of 177 countries in the United Nations’ Human Development Index based on life expectancy, literacy, education and purchasing power.

'Quality of Life' is lacking in Kiev.

Compiled by the UN’s Human Development Report Office (HDRO), the HDI ranks countries according to three developmental dimensions, namely, a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

Wedged between Colombia and Samoa, Ukraine is sixth of the 85 countries deemed to be in the “medium human development” range. 70 countries ranked as “high development” countries, with Iceland, Norway and Australia taking the top three spots.

The bottom 22 slots were all occupied by Sub-Saharan African countries with Sierra Leone ranking last. Each country’s achievements in these dimensions were determined through statistical measurements of average life expectancy, adult literacy and combined gross enrollment in primary, secondary, and tertiary-level education, and GDP per capita (in purchasing power parity, or PPP, US dollars). The HDI refers to statistical data gathered in 2005 and made available to HDRO by July 2007 by various international and national agencies.

Ukraine scored an HDI value of .788 in the 2005 benchmark year, rising from .761 in 2000. The HDI has been compiled every five years since 1975. The country scored highest when it was first analyzed in 1990 with a value of .809, slightly lower than the Bahamas and Kuwait. Ukraine scored lowest in 1995 with a .756 value, which was only slightly better than Brazil and Belarus. Ukraine has gradually regained HDI value in the past decade.

In 2005, an average Ukrainian’s life expectancy was 67.7 years, according to HDRO, and the country’s GDP per capita totaled $6,848 (PPP US$). Meanwhile, its adult literacy rate was entered as 99.4 percent of the population, while its combined gross enrollment ratio for education totaled 86.5 percent.

“While the concept of human development is much broader than any single composite index can measure, the HDI offers a powerful alternative to GDP per capita as a summary measure of human well-being,” according to the report.

At the 76th spot, Ukraine ranked lower than all of its freshly-minted EU neighbors Poland (37), Hungary (36), Slovakia (42) and Romania (60), and behind Belarus (64) and Russia (67). Both Russia and Belarus were included in the “high human development” category. The other CIS member states lagged behind Ukraine, with Tajikistan bottoming the bunch in the 122nd position.

The HDI report also measured countries according to a myriad of other criteria affecting human development as diverse as technology diffusion, water, sanitation and nutritional status, maternal and child healthcare, labor rights and unemployment, and environmental policy and energy use.

The substantial 384-page report pinpointed climate change as the most substantial challenge to human development in the coming years.

“In the long run, climate change is a massive threat to human development and in some places it is already undermining the international community’s efforts to reduce extreme poverty,” according to the report’s authors.

Source: Kyiv Post