Yerevan, 09 December 2019 – Inequalities are deeply rooted in our societies, economies and politics. Despite substantial gains in health, education and living standards, the basic needs of many remain unmet, hurting societies and weakening people’s trust in government, institutions and each other. But action is possible, which requires more than redistribution, decoupling political and economic power and levelling the economic playing field. It also requires a continuing action to close the gaps in basic deprivations, while reversing the growing next generation of inequalities in human development. These are the key findings of the Human Development Report 2019 entitled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century” presented with participation of Tigran Avinyan, RA Deputy Prime Minister, Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, as well as representatives of the government, diplomatic community, international organizations, civil society and media.
“There is economic inequality, of course, but there are also inequalities in key elements of human development such as health, education, dignity and respect for human rights. And these might not be revealed by considering income and wealth inequality alone. The analysis must look at the ways inequality plays out across an entire population, in different places and over time. And new forms of inequality will determine the lives of today’s young people and their children associated with the two major shifts that shape the 21st century: climate change and technological transformations,” said Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
The 2019 HDR presents the 2018 Human Development Index (HDI) for 189 countries and UN-recognized territories. The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life measured by life expectancy, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. It is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because of revisions and updates of the underlying data and adjustments to goalposts.
Armenia’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.760, which put the country in the high human development category, positioning it at 81 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2018, Armenia’s HDI value increased from 0.633 to 0.760, an increase of 20.0 percent: life expectancy at birth increased by 7.1 years, expected years of schooling increased by 2.3 years, while the country’s Gross National Income per capita increased by about 157.7 percent between 1990 and 2018.
Armenia’s 2018 HDI of 0.760 is above the average of 0.750 for countries in the high human development group and below the average of 0.779 for countries in Europe and Central Asia. From Europe and Central Asia, countries which are close to Armenia in 2018 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Azerbaijan and Georgia, which have HDIs ranked 87 and 70 respectively. Turkey and Iran are ranked 59th and 65th, while the Russian Federation is ranked 49th.
In 2010, the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) was introduced, which is the HDI ‘discounted’ for inequalities. Armenia’s IHDI for 2018 is 0.685, a loss of 9.9 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Azerbaijan and Georgia show losses due to inequality of 9.4 percent and 12.0 percent respectively. The average loss due to inequality for high HDI countries is 17.9 percent and for Europe and Central Asia it is 11.7 percent.
In terms of gender-based inequalities in reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity, Armenia’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) value is 0.259, ranking it 57 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index. In Armenia, 18.1 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 96.9 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 97.6 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 25.0 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 21.5 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labour market is 49.6 percent compared to 69.9 for men. In comparison, Azerbaijan and Georgia are ranked at 70 and 75 respectively on this index.
The five frontrunners in the 2018 global HDI rankings are Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong. At the bottom of the HDI rankings are Burundi, South Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, and Niger.
UNDP in Armenia also kicked-off the discussions of the preliminary findings of the 2018/2019 National Human Development Report entitled “The Right to the Future: Youth Changing Armenia,” produced by a team of national experts. The document looks at key challenges the youth face in Armenia - from youth policy to value orientation, from education and assistance to the present and future challenges posed by the labour market - and provides new ideas and recommendations to address them.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993 and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.