Human Rights in Ukraine

13.12.2001 | Olga Goncharova, Kharkov

UNO on the index of man’s development


On 10 July the UNO Program of Development (UNOPD) distributed in many countries the results of a consecutive investigation ’Reports on man’s development in 2001’. This document contents statistical data that characterize economic, social and humanitarian indices of about 160 countries, regions, groups of countries and the entire world. The UNOPD reports are used by governments of many countries when shaping their social and economic policy and influencing mass media.

The concept of man’s development accounts for the development as the main goal and criterion of social progress. Man’s development has three main goals: firstly, the longer life span with satisfactory health; secondly, getting education that suits modern conditions; thirdly, the access to sources that provide a dignified life standard.

The topic of the last report is the analysis of the influence of new technologies. The previous reports were devoted to multifarious problems: in 1991 – financing man’s development, in 1995 – gender problems, in 1999 – globalization with human face.

The most important index in the reviewed reports is the annual index of man’s development (IMD) in various countries of the world. This index is characterized with three most important features: life span, degree of literacy of population, GNP per capita with the account taken of the consumer’s basket that consists of several hundreds goods and services.

The current report is based on the statistical data for 1999. Ukraine has won the 74th place out of 162 countries. In 1993-94 Ukraine occupied the 45th place, 1995 – 54th, 1996 – 80th, 1997 – 95th, 1998 – 102nd, 1999 – 91st, 2000 – 78th. It should be noted that the insignificant raise in the rating of Ukraine during the last three years is due not to objective improvements, but to the changes in the methods of counting. The following countries have the highest IMD: Norway (0.939), Australia (0.936) and Canada (0.936). In Europe significant rating is possessed by the following post-Communist countries: Slovakia – 35th place (IMD=0.831), Hungary – 36th (0.829) and Poland – 38 (0.828). Among the former Soviet countries the best are the Baltic countries: Estonia – 44th place (IMD=0.812), Lithuania – 47th (0.803), Latvia – 50th (0.791). Among the CIS countries Belarus occupies the 53rd place (IMD=0.782), Russia – 55th (0.775), Armenia – 72nd (0.745), Kazakhstan – 75th, Georgia – 76th, Azerbaijan – 79th.

The index of life span is defined as a number of years that a newborn may live, if, during all his life, the mortality rate remains such as it was at the birth.

In Ukraine, according to the UNOPD data, this index equaled 68.1 years in 1999, which is a little larger than the index averaged over the world (66.7). About 10% of the dead in 1999 perished because of accidents, traumas or poisoning; men of the working age mostly belong to this group. The common demographic indexes in Ukraine are far from being favorable: in the beginning of 2001 the number of the children under one year of age was 381 thousand, while the number of people aged 74 was 409 thousand. As to the female sex, the number of babygirls under one year was 184 thousand, while the number of 77-year women was 206 thousand!

The education index in Ukraine is somewhat higher. The index is depends on two parameters: the level of literacy and the general coverage of the population with education.

The first parameter in Ukraine equals 99.6%, in Poland – 99.7%, in Latvia – 99.8%, in Russia and Belarus – 99.5%. The maximal coverage with education in Ukraine is 76-78%, which is close to similar date in the countries of East Europe and the CIS, but about 10 points lower than in the West.

Most of all Ukraine lags behind other countries in the GNP per capita. It equals 3458 USD, so, according to the consumer capacity, Ukraine has only the 96th place among 162 countries. The GNP per capita in Ukraine equals only 49.5% of the average world level. Our neighbors have somewhat better indices. So, in Poland the GNP equals 8450 USD, in Slovakia – 10591, in Hungary – 11430, in Romania – 6041, in Russia – 7473, in Belarus – 6876.

The GNP index is very important in the context of the intentions to join the European community. This index in 15 West European countries was 22204 USD in 1999, that is 6.42 times larger than in Ukraine.

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