Central America Falls Behind in Human Development

Out of all the countries on the isthmus, only Panama’s Human Development Index follows the upward trend set by Latin America and the Caribbean.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Since the 1990 publication of the Human Development Index (HDI), the number has shown an upward trend for the vast majority of nations. This overall positive trend has been exceeded by some countries, such as South Korea and China, while others, such as Zimbabwe and Lesotho, have actually moved in a negative direction.

Also evident in the graphic illustration of the HDI over the past 30 years is the mark of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, which ended the longest period of sustained growth in the global economy.

In the last five years Central American countries, with the exception of Panama, have not followed the global upward trend in HDI, most likely as a result of the crisis mentioned, which directly affected the region because of its close trade ties with the United States .

The graphs, taken from the website of the United Nations Organization for Development, clearly indicate the retreat of the Central American countries - with the exception of Panama - with respect to the HDI’s global average.

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