Sunday, November 12, 2006

Drop in human development

Getty Images(La Nacion) - For the fifth consecutive year, Costa Rica lost ground in the Human Development Index, as a result of the erosion in the distribution of income.

This year, Costa Rica placed 48th among the 177 nations evaluated, one slot down from 2005 and more distant from the 41st position it had in 2001.

Norway places 1st in the world, and the best ranked Latin American country is Chile, 38th. The Index is made by the United Nations Program for Development and it analyzes three key issues: health, which takes in life expectancy; education, which measures the rate of enrollment; and economy, regarding the growth of economy and yearly income.

The document points out that 2.2 percent of the population of Costa Rica –86,000 people– live on less than $1 a day, while 7.5% of them (322,000) do so on $2. The major single item that accounts for Costa Rica's performance is the increasing gap in income when those with the highest are compared to those with the lowest, analysts point out.

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