The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its 2018 update on September 14, presenting HDI values for 189 countries around the world, including 20 Arab countries, classified in four human development tiers.
The UNDP’s statistics, which are based on 2017 data, showed that 59 countries ranked “very high” in human development, 53 “high,” 39 in “medium,” and 38 in “low.”
Morocco ranks lower than Libya
Morocco ranked “medium” in human development group with an HDI of 0.667 out of 1 (0.598 for women and 0.713 for men) after Egypt (ranked 115), Palestine (ranked 119), and Iraq (ranked 120).
Algeria ranked 85th with “high” levels of human development with an HDI of 0.754. Lebanon (80); Tunisia (95); Jordan (95); and, despite its conflict, Libya (105) also ranked “high.”
However, Morocco’s HDI increased from 0.458 in 1990 to 0.667 in 2017, with an average annual HDI growth of 1.13 percent between 2010 and 2017—a rate much higher than the average in Arab states (0.51).
Norway ranked at the top of the list in the global HDI rankings with 0.953, followed by Switzerland (0.944), Australia (0.939), Ireland (0.938), and Germany (0.936). Countries ranked at the bottom of the list are Burundi (0.417), Chad (0.404), South Sudan (0.388), the Central African Republic (0.367), and Niger (0.354).
Morocco’s scores across longevity, education, income
The HDI is a composite index which takes into account three basic components of human development: longevity, education, and income per capita.
The three dimensions concern the ability to lead a long and healthy life measured by life expectancy at birth, the ability to acquire knowledge—measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling, and the ability to achieve a decent standard of living—measured by gross national income per capita.
Morocco’s life expectancy at birth was 76.1 years (77.2 for women and 74.9 for men), higher than the average index in Arab states (71.5) and than that in Europe and Central Asia (73.4). Life expectancy at birth in countries with “very high” human development was 79.5 years.
The average number of years of schooling held by people aged 25 and older in Morocco was 5.5 years (4.5 for women and 6.5 for men). The number was less than the average in Arab countries (7 years) and slightly more than the average country with “low” human development (4.7).
The statistics also showed that 28 percent of women and 34.8 percent of men aged 25 and older had at least some secondary education between 2010 and 2017.
Gross national income (GNI) per capita, which also impacted the HDI in Morocco, was $7,340 per year. Women’s GNI per capita in Morocco is very low at $3,197 per year compared to men’s at $11,561. Morocco’s GNI per capita is lower than the average in Egypt ($10,355), Tunisia ($10,275), and Libya ($11,100).
The human development report covers four other composite indices to measure human development, such as the Gender Development Index which compares female and male HDI values and the Gender Inequality Index (GII) which highlights women’s empowerment.
For the GII, Morocco ranked 119th for 2017 with 0.482 out of 1. Women hold 18.4 percent of the seats in Parliament. According to the report, “a low GII value indicates low inequality between women and men, and vice-versa.”
For labor force participation rate for people aged 15 and older, women’s participation in the labor force is only 25 percent—a rate that is much lower than that of men (74 percent). At the Arab states’ regional level, the labor participation rate is 20.7 percent for women and 74.2 percent for men. In Europe and Central Asia, it is 45.5 percent for women and 70.3 percent men. Countries with “high” human development levels have a rate of 55 percent for women and 75.5 percent for men.
The UNDP’s statistics presented other indicators including health outcomes, education achievements, work and employment, human security, and the status of fundamental human rights treaties.