By Martin Love

Iran tops in “human development” improvements since the revolution

February 13, 2018

Western countries like the U.S. and Middle Eastern ones such as Israel and Saudi Arabia like to put the Islamic Republic of Iran down as some kind of medieval state that presents a threat to the region and, at least from the standpoint of the U.S. government, the world, but it’s all a big lie unless “threat” literally means an Iran that has or is becoming a relatively more prosperous and powerful country that internally at least has been improving the lives of its citizens.

Consider the latest published report (2016) by the UN which addresses what it calls “human development” in all the member states of the UN. According to this most recent published report, between 1979 and 2016, Iran overall has enjoyed the greatest growth in the Human Development Index of any country in the UN. Since 1980 life expectancy since birth has rocketed up 54 to 76 years. Expected years of schooling has climbed from less than 10 years to almost 15, while mean years of schooling has gone from 2.3 to almost 15 years, to cite just a couple items.

So what is “human development”? According to the UN, “human development is about the freedom to realize the full potential of every human life, not just of a few, nor of most, but of all lives in every corner of the world – now and in the future”.

Relatively, Iran has seen more progress in this regard than any other country in recent decades, claims the UN report. Iran falls in the rank of all countries at number 69. (Norway is number 1, the U.S. is ranked at 10.) In the Middle East among Arab countries, Saudi Arabia is ranked at 38, Bahrain at 47, Kuwait at 51 and Oman at 52. But consider that these Mideast countries are not nearly the size of Iran, and because of resource wealth can generate for their relatively small numbers of citizens considerably higher per capita incomes than Iran, with over 81 million people. No other Mideast country is ranked above Iran but these four above, and among all the countries ranked, 188 of them, Iran stands just below the top third in the rankings.

 

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