Serbia ranks 77 out of 187 countries in Human Development Index

24 Jul 2014

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Belgrade, 24 July 2014 — Levels in human development continue to rise in Serbia according to the latest Human Development Index (HDI) made public today on the occasion of the launch of the Human Development Report by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in Tokyo.

Serbia’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.745 — which is in the high human development category—positioning the country at 77 out of 187 countries and territories.

Between 1990 and 2013, Serbia’s HDI value increased from 0.726 to 0.745 which represents an increase of 2.6 percent or an average annual increase of about 0.11 percent. This rank is shared with Jordan. From Europe and Central Asia, countries which are close to Serbia in 2013 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Croatia and Belarus.

Main increases between 1980 and 2013 are related to life expectancy at birth (4.2 years) and mean years of schooling (2.1 years). The number of poor people is reduced; however, those, who are suffering multiple deprivations in the same household in education, health and living standards and who represent 3.1 percent of the population, became poorer, the intensity of poverty having increased from 38.3 percent in 2005 to about 40 percent in 2010.

Serbia’s average annual growth of 0.34 percent between 2000 and 2013 is the lowest in the region.

Based on the assumption that personal insecurities have serious negative implications for the choice people can make and the freedoms they can enjoy, new indicators that measure threats to personal security have been included in the 2014 Human Development Report. Thus, the report shows that over 3 percent of the world’s refugee population of about 15 million at the end of 2012 comes from Europe and Central Asia region. Of these, about 34 percent is from Serbia. It also learns that Serbia average homicide rate is 3.8 per 100,000, the lowest in the region.

Entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience”, the 2014 Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

It comes at a critical time in Serbia where, according to the Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) on floods-related damage and effects, the HDI could sustain a decline in 2014 because of the combination of income drop and of access to education and health services, losing about two years´ worth of growth. Furthermore the number of persons living below the poverty line would probably increase.

“The report shows clearly that globally the main threats to stability and steady development are political and financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflicts. It learns also that the resilience of a country is measured by its capacity to be well prepared, to recover quickly and well from disasters and to implement measures to avoid further socioeconomic consequences”” said Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.

Together with other partners, UNDP has already started to implement projects that aim at building back better while increasing social, material and institutional resilience in Serbia.

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ABOUT THE HDI: The Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990 as a composite measurement of development that challenged purely economic assessments of national progress. The HDI in the 2014 Report covers 187 countries and territories. Countries are grouped under four human development groups - Very high, High, Medium and Low.

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ABOUT THE REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme.

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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 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.