United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

U.N. Stats: Life Longer and Healthier In Iran

            A new U.N. report highlights Iran’s significant progress in providing citizens with a long and healthy life, access to education and a decent standard of living. Between 1980 and 2012, Iran’s life expectancy at birth increased by 22.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 5.7 years, and expected years of schooling increased by 5.7 years. The gross national income per capita also increased by about 48 percent between 1980 and 2012.
 
           The U.N. Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of health, education and standard of living. Iran’s HDI is now 0.742 —in the high human development category—positioning the country at 76 out of 187 countries and territories. In 1980, just after the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s HDI was only 0.443. The following are excerpts from the 2013 U.N. Human Development Report.
 
Table A: Iran’s HDI trends based on consistent time series data, new component indicators and new methodology
 
 
Life expectancy at birth
Expected years of schooling
Mean years of schooling
GNI per capita (2005 PPP$)
HDI value
1980
51.1
8.7
2.1
7,226
0.443
1985
50.1
8.7
2.8
7,210
0.46
1990
61.8
9.2
3.8
6,189
0.540
1995
68.2
11.2
5
6,674
0.618
2000
69.8
11.9
6
7,507
0.654
2005
71.3
11.5
7
9,060
0.685
2010
72.7
14.4
7.8
10,834
0.740
2011
73
14.4
7.8
10,936
0.742
2012
73.2
14.4
7.8
10,695
0.742
 
Figure 1 below shows the contribution of each component index to Iran (Islamic Republic of)’s HDI since 1980.
 
Long-term progress can be usefully assessed relative to other countries–both in terms of geographical location and HDI value. For instance, during the period between 1980 and 2012 Iran (Islamic Republic of), India and Pakistan experienced different degrees of progress toward increasing their HDIs (see figure 2). 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 2: Trends in Iran (Islamic Republic of)’s HDI 1980-2012
 
Iran (Islamic Republic of)’s 2012 HDI of 0.742 is below the average of 0.758 for countries in the high human development group and above the average of 0.558 for countries in South Asia. From South Asia, countries which are close to Iran (Islamic Republic of) in 2012 HDI rank and population size are Bangladesh and Pakistan, which have HDIs ranked 146 and 146 respectively (see table B).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Click here for the full report and summary.
 
Click here for the explanatory note on Iran.

 

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