UN downgrades Azerbaijan on living standards
Azerbaijan ranked 91st among 187 countries in the United Nations annual report on living standards, 24 points below its previous ranking.
Norway, Australia and the Netherlands topped the list of the countries ranked, while Congo, Niger and Burundi are in the bottom of the rankings.
As for Azerbaijan’s neighbors, Russia was rated 66th, Georgia 75th, Armenia 86th, Iran 88th and Turkey 92nd in the report, which was drawn up by the UN Development Program (UNDP).
The 2011 UN Human Development Report ranks countries on such indicators as health, education and income.
According to the report, average life expectancy in Azerbaijan is 70.7 years. Azerbaijanis receive education for 8.6 years, while average income per capita is $8,600.
99.5 percent of Azerbaijanis are literate, and there is one teacher per 11.1 schoolchildren in the country.
Azerbaijan was rated 50th on gender equality. 65.5 percent of women in the country have at least secondary education and 59.5 percent are employed, according to UNDP.
On the poverty index, the report said 461,000 people, or 5.3 percent of the country’s population, are poor. 12.5 percent of the population is close to the poverty line, it said.
The report said that only 1 percent of Azerbaijanis are below the poverty line, earning less than $1.25 per day.
It also revealed that Azerbaijani citizens are relatively content with their living standards, with the approval level being 4.2 points on a 10-point scale.
Regarding annual population growth, the UN predicts that it is expected to slow down in the coming years to 1.2 percent from 1.5 percent. The Azerbaijani population will make up 10.8 million in 2015.
In 2010, Azerbaijan was included in the list of countries with high-level "human development", advancing 34 points in the past five years.