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Five Caribbean states ranked in top group in the UNDP Human Development Index

Five Caribbean states are ranked among countries with high human development
according to the 2005 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human
Development report released on 7 September.

The report measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development - a long and healthy life measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined gross enrolment for primary, secondary and tertiary level educational institutions; and decent standard of living, measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita in purchasing power

Barbados, which leads all the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, is
ranked at number 30. St. Kitts and Nevis is ranked at 49, followed by the
Bahamas (50), Cuba (52), and Trinidad and Tobago (57).

In the medium human development group, Antigua and Barbuda is at 60. Then
come Grenada (66), Dominica (70), St. Lucia (76), while St. Vincent and the
Grenadines remains at 87. The Dominican Republic is at 95, followed by Jamaica
(98), and Guyana (107).

Haiti is the only regional country with low human development, ranked at 153
out of 177 countries. Sierra Leone (176) and Niger (177) are ranked lowest of

According to statistics used by the UNDP, a comparison between island
neighbors, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, finds that:

life expectancy for Dominicans is 67.2 years, and for Haitians is 51.6 years;

the adult literacy rate in the Dominican Republic is 87.8%, while in Haiti it
is estimated at 51.9%;

enrolment in primary, secondary and higher education in the Dominican
Republic is 76%, while in Haiti it is estimated at 48%.

and the GDP per capita in the Dominican Republic is US$6,823, while in Haiti
it is US$1,742.

The UNDP’s Resident Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean,
Rosina Wiltshire, attributed Barbados’ ranking to the strong commitment of the
government, social partners and civil society to fostering development. She said there is a need for swift changes to global aid, trade and security policies to ensure all countries can meet the objectives of the MDGs.

Sources: Caribbean News Agency (CANA)

2005 UNDP Human Development report