Nearly one-quarter of pregnant Moroccan women do not have any prenatal visits, and 13% give birth without any “skilled health personnel” present.
Rabat – The UN Development Program’s 2019 Human Development Index has ranked Morocco as the 121st most developed country out of 189 countries. Although two places above its previous ranking, the new ranking puts Morocco two places below the state of Palestine, including the Gaza strip.
With a score of 0.676, Morocco has “medium human development.” Elsewhere in the Maghreb, the UNDP considers Algeria (82nd globally) and Tunisia (91st globally) to have “high human development,” along with six other African countries that ranked above Morocco.
The Seychelles, Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa, Gabon, and Egypt also fit into the high development ranking.
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.”
Morocco has seen a gradual improvement in its score since the index began in 1990. In 1990, Morocco had a score of 0.458, in 2000 a score of 0.531, and in 2010 a score of 0.618.
While only 1% of Morocco’s population are living below the internationally-recognized poverty line of living on less than $1.90 per day, nearly 5% are living below the country’s national poverty line.
Looking beyond monetary poverty, the index estimates that 19% of Moroccans are living in “multidimensional poverty.”
The 2019 report focused on inequalities among people. Perhaps the most stark inequalities in Morocco are between men and women in labor force participation and time spent on domestic work. Although 70% of Moroccan men are active in the labor force, only 21% of women are. Meanwhile, women reported they spend over five hours per day on unpaid domestic chores, seven times the time that men spend.
The percentage of Morocco’s parliamentary seats held by women is 18%, a percentage not that much higher than the group of women who got married before the age of 18, 13%. Child marriage in Morocco is now illegal unless the families involved obtain a waiver for the marriage.
The index highlighted health realities across the world. Nearly one-quarter of pregnant Moroccan women do not have any prenatal visits, and 13% give birth without any “skilled health personnel” present.
Morocco only has seven doctors and 11 hospital beds per 10,000 people, according to the index. Children born in Morocco face a life expectancy of 76.5 years.
Moroccans who entered their first year of schooling in 2018 can expect to spend an average of 13 years in school, far more than the five years of education the average adult Moroccan has.
Adult Moroccan men are more likely to have “some” secondary education than women: 36% of men and 29% of women advanced beyond primary education.
UNDP describes 19% of Morocco’s labor force as “skilled” and said 49% are in vulnerable employment. While the wealthiest 10% in Morocco take home 32% of the country’s income, the bottom 40% take home 17%.
The index showed that most Moroccans have access to utilities: 100% have electricity and 87% have a basic drinking-water source. However, 19% of Morocco’s land is considered to be “degraded.”
On government spending, the UNDP noted that Morocco spends 3% of its GDP on its military.
Morocco also spends 9% of its exports of goods, services, and primary income on repaying its debts.