Yemen

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Yemen
flag_Yemen.png
Flag of Yemen
Population (In Millions) 23.85
Human Development Index n.a./187
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - World Bank) 31.99
Global Peace Index 152/162
Happy Planet Index 68/151
Social Institutions and Gender Index 83/86
Environmental Performance Index 127/132
Child Mortality Rate 42
More information on variables


Demographics

According to the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MICP), Yemen has witnessed a rapid population growth reflected in population growth from 12.8 million in 1990 to 15.4 million in 1995 and to 18.3 million in 2000. GraphYemen1.PNG[1]It reached approximately 24 million in 2010, according to the World Bank data. [2]The Yemeni population is characterized by a young age structure where 44% of the population is below 15 years of age. [3]

The rapid population growth exacerbated by the young age structure has burdened demand on basic services such as education and health care. [4]

Yemenis are mainly of Arab origin. [5]Arabic is the official language of the country. In the Mahra area (the extreme east) and the island Soqotra, several ancient south-Arabic Semitic languages are spoken. [6]

Religion in Yemen consists primarily of two principal Islamic religious groups: 53% of the Muslim population is Sunni and 45% is Shi'a according to the UNHCR. [7]


UNDP Human Development Report Trends - 2010

The Human Development Index is a composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development- a long healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living; intended to capture the essential dimensions of the quality of human life or human development. According to the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report 2010, Yemen was ranked 131st out of 169 countries ranked in the world.

With an HDI of 0.439 in 2010, Yemen's score is broken down as follows:

Health: 0.694 (life expectancy at birth of 63.9 years)

Education: 0.296 (mean years of schooling, 2.5)

Income: 0.413 (GNI per capita 2008 PPP US$ 2,595) [8]

Progress and the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring - a term that was inspired by Europe’s le Printemps des peuples or le Printemps des révolutions - refers to the wave of protests that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and expanded to other North-African and Middle-Eastern countries. Although the nature of the uprisings has varied from protests to revolution, all nations involved in the Spring are reacting to degrading socio-economic and political conditions in the MENA region.
Key nations involved in the Arab Spring include:

  • Tunisia: starting from December 17th, 2010.
  • Egypt: starting from January 25th, 2011.
  • Yemen: starting from January 26th, 2011.
  • Libya: starting from February 17th, 2011.
  • Syria: starting from March 15th, 2011.

Protests of smaller sizes having media coverage also took place in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman & Kuwait. Many of the countries involved in the Arab Spring showed a steady increase in GDP over the last five to ten years while their well-being indices were decreasing.[9]

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In this regard, the Arab Human Development Report (2009) also highlights how the widespread absence of human security in Arab countries undermines people’s options. The report argues that security in the Arab countries is often threatened by unjust political, social, and economic structures; by competition for power and resources among fragmented social groups. [10]

See the 2009 Arab Human Development Report here.

For each nation involved in the Arab Spring, Wikiprogress is showcasing a number of key indices, inspired by the OECD Better Life Initiative – Compendium of Well-Being Indicators, to reflect a variety of dimensions of progress.
This Compendium represents one of the first attempts to respond to the demand for comparative information on the conditions of people's lives in developed market economies. Previous contributions in this field have focused on the conditions of poorer countries and on a more narrow range of dimensions (e.g. Human Development Index).[11]


Material living conditions

Income and wealth

Yemen is categorised as one of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) in the world. [12]In terms of resources sharing, Yemen is the 76th most unequal country in the world on the Gini income coefficient. [13]According to the 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI), Yemen’s GDP per capita is 1210 US$ [14]compared to 1060 US$ in 2009, according to the World Bank data.GraphYemen22.PNG   [15]

Jobs and earnings

The World Bank database does not include data on unemployment in Yemen. However, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, as reported by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Yemen’s unemployment rate did not change in the last four years. It has been 11.5% since 2007.YemenGraph3.PNG [16]

According to USAID’s Yemen Gap Analysis, economic stagnation has been the norm in Yemen’s economy for years which explains the unchanged unemployment rate . In only two years since 1999 has Yemen’s economy expanded on a per capita basis in excess of 1%. Yemen’s poor economic performance is attributed in no small part to its substantial dependence on two global primary commodity markets which are characterised by excessively volatile prices: oil and food. [17]

Housing

While the OECD uses the number of rooms and dwellings with basic facilities indicators to measure housing satisfaction, no similar indicators are used for developing countries. However, according to the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Yemeni population is unevenly distributed, living in small, concentrated dwellings dispersed over the whole country. These sporadic dwellings are more prevalent in mountainous regions, thus stifling the provision of basic services. [18]According to Mathew Derek, in a commentary on Yemeni traditional architecture, Yemen does not seem to have suffered from an acute housing problem. Only a few squatter settlements exist, such as those made by workers coming from the Tihama to become employed in street sweeping in Sana’a. [19]

Quality of life

Health status

Yemen has had a steady Life Expectancy Rate increasing from 62 to 63 between 2006 and 2009, according to the 2009 World Bank database.GraphYemen4.PNG [20]Total expenditures on health per capita is 142 US$ per capita as reported in 2009 by the Global Health Observatory. [21]According to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, although Yemen’s health system has gradually made significant progress, and the health delivery system coverage has increased from 10% in 1970 to almost 50% in 2000, GraphYemen5.PNGhuge challenges remain. [22]

These include, according to the Yemeni Ministry:

  • the overall allocation of public expenditure on health is not enough to meet operational costs for the health infrastructure.
  • over-centralisation of the administrative and financial system has weakened the Ministry for Public Health's (MPH) supervisory and monitoring roles, and has restricted community participation in health programs development and implementation of programs at the governorate and the sub-district level.
  • the health delivery system is characterised either by duplicating efforts or total absence of services. The distribution of health facilities and manpower are skewed toward urban centres and developed governorates. Thus, health coverage amounts to 80 percent in urban centers, while it reaches 25% in rural areas.
  • only 40% of total population has access to safe water; besides, sanitation and sewage system cover only 6.2% of total population. Epidemic and infectious diseases, diphtheria and malaria, are widespread. [23]

In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Yemen is 210. This is compared with 268.7 in 2008 and 582.4 in 1990. GraphYemen33.PNGThe under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 70 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 44. [24]

Work and life balance

Data has not been found on the time Yemenis devote for leisure and personal care. Concerning leisure tools though, chewing qat has been the main activity of Yemenis, although it is a drug that induces dreaminess, lucidity and, later on, surges of energy. [25]According to 1998 household budget survey, as reported by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Yemen, family spending on health represents 2.3% of its total spending, whilst spending on qat and tobacco is 10.7%.  [26]

The custom in Yemen is for friends and family to gather at the end of the day for a qat party during which they chew the qat plant. The Yemeni government is aware of the negative effects of such an activity. Qat has grave negative effects on health, especially on the neurology system and psychological wellbeing of its users, says their MICP page. [27]However, qat production constitutes one of the main contributors to Yemen’s budget. It constitutes 9% of total cultivated land in 2000. In the same year, qat cultivation drained off around 58 billion YRs, constituting around 6.3% of the non-oil GDP-sectors, and 30% of agriculture production. [28]

Education and skills

The Yemeni government reported in 2000 that the illiteracy rate in Yemen exceeds 55.7%. [29]According to the U.S. Department of State, there is a direct correlation between the very high rate of illiteracy and the lack of basic education. And, although Yemen’s laws provide for universal, compulsory, free education for children ages six through 15, compulsory attendance is not enforced, and the cost of attendance (approximately US$10 per student per year) is an additional deterrent. [30]

The Yemeni government developed the National Basic Education Development Strategy in 2003 that aimed at providing education to 95% of Yemeni children between the ages of six and 14 years and also at decreasing the gap between males and females in urban and rural areas. [31]However, public expenditures on education were decreasing. In 2011, they amounted to about 9.63 % of the Gross domestic product (GDP) according to the Global Peace Index, as reported from UNESCO. [32]compared to more than 20% between 1995 and 2000.GraphYemen6.PNG [33]Other figures:

  • Mean years of schooling: 8.65 years (2011) [34]
  • Labor force with secondary education (% of total): 2% (1999) [35]
  • Higher education enrolment (% Gross): 9.39% (2011) [36]

Social connections

In 2010, the Arab Media Influence Report (AMIR I) reported that the number of Arab individuals reclaiming authority over their lives, freedom & liberty and trends in using social media is increasing. [37]In 2011, AMIR II reported that a huge growth in Social Media usage since AMIR I was a “catalyst” in the Arab Spring. Their findings included the following:

  • The number of internet users in the Arab World is expected to reach 80 million by 2012. It is currently 65 million. GraphYemen8.PNG
  • User growth from 2000-2010 was at over 1,800%.
  • There are over 17 million Facebook users in the Arab World.
  • In August 2010, Arabic became the fastest growing language on Facebook.
  • There is an important decline in traditional media growth in the MENA region. [38]

However, specific data on Yemen has not been found on this subject. Data sources to help understand this topic are welcomed.

Civic engagement and governance

Democracy and transparency

The 2011 Global Peace Index data shows that Yemen saw a significant drop – falling 11 places from last year. It ranks 138 out of 153 countries according to the GPI 2011 report.GraphYemen99.PNG [39]It was given a status of “Not Free” by the Freedom House since it is not an electoral democracy. According to their website, the political system is dominated by one party (the General People’s Congress) and there are few limits on the authority of the executive branch.[40]

Yemen had a very low Political Participation ranking of 3.33/10 as reported by the EIU Democracy Index and a very high Level of Disrespect to Human Rights ranking of 4.0/5.0, according to the Global Peace Index report. [41]In its 2011 report on Yemen, Amnesty International reported that human rights in Yemen were subordinated to security challenges posed by al-Qa'ida as well as by armed conflict in the northern Sa'dah province and protests in the south. [42]

According to Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index [The Corruption Perception Index draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption scoring countries on a scale from 0 - 10, with 0 indicating high levels of perceived corruption and 10 indicating low levels of perceived corruption], Yemen scores 2.1/10, making it a highly corrupt country. [43]

Civil Society

The Freedom House gives Libya a score of 2.0 out of 5 based on its Political Rights and Civic Voice Indicator. Yemenis have the right to form associations under Article 58 of the constitution and non-governmental organisations operate in the country. But, the state maintains a monopoly over the media. [44]According to the U.S. Department of State, Yemen’s Ministry of Information influences the media through its control of printing presses, granting of newspaper subsidies, and ownership of the country’s only television and radio stations. The country has nine government-controlled, 50 independent, and 30 party-affiliated newspapers, according to the same source. [45]

When it comes to female participation in civil society, according to a special report on women in the Middle-East, conducted by the Freedom House, Yemeni non-governmental organisations and activists have been advocating for gender equality, fostering awareness of gender-based violence and demanding a change in Yemeni laws, especially family laws. [46]That urged educational and executive institutions to allow women to enroll in their ranks for the first time, and the Islamist party Islah to undertake internal changes that led to the first election of women to its higher decision-making bodies.[47]

However, several restrictions to women’s freedom are applied: a woman must obtain permission from her husband or father to receive a passport and travel abroad; neither do they have the right to confer citizenship on a foreign-born spouse. Also, Yemen’s penal code allows lenient sentences for those convicted of “honor crimes” [assaults or killings of women by family members for alleged immoral behavior].[48] 

See the Gender Equality in Yemen page on Wikigender.

Environmental quality

According to the World Bank data, Yemen’s CO2 emissions (kt) has increased between 2006 and 2007 to reach 21, 958 kt in 2007 making air highly polluted. [49]Data sources to help understand this topic are welcomed.

Personal security

According to GPI, the number of homicides per 10,000 people in Yemen is 3, and the number of internal security officers and police per the same portion of population is 2. [50]However, no national or international statistics were found on the number of intentional homicides or self-reported victimisation, the two being the indicators OECD uses to measure personal security on OECD countries.

In 2009, the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR), a wide study on security in the Arab World as a whole, argues that the trend in the region has been to focus more on the security of the state than on the security of the people. [51]It also draws attention to a multitude of threats which cut across different aspects of human development in the region, highlighting the need for an integrated approach to advancing development, security, good governance and human rights. [52]

However, specific data on Yemen was not found. Data sources to help understand this topic are welcomed.

Subjective well-being

According to the Gallup Centre, indices related to well-being, in general, have shown a sharp decline in the last five years. [53]Specific data on Yemen with respect to subjective well-being was not found. Data sources to help understand this topic are welcomed.

Happiness in Yemen

This is an overview of findings on Happiness in Yemen.The available findings are presented in the latest ‘Nation Report’ on Yemen. This report is ordered by type of happiness questions and within these types by year. This ordering is to facilitate the assessment of progress, comparison over time being most fruitful using the same questions.
The report presents means and standard deviations, both on the original scale range and transformed to a common range 0-10. The means inform about the level of happiness in the country and the standard deviations about inequality of happiness.
Links provide more detail about the precise text of the question, the full distribution of responses and technical details of the survey. The report is continuously updated.

Official statistics

Central Statistics Organization

See also


References

  1. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  2. World Bank Data (2010), World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Full data available here
  3. World Bank Data (2010), World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Full data available here
  4. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  5. CIA World Factbook - Yemen (2011). Full Yemen page here
  6. Woodard R. (2008), The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia, Cambridge University Press, p. 228.
  7. Integrated Regional Information Networks (2008), Yemen: The conflict in Saada Governorate - analysis, 24 July 2008, UNHCR. Full analysis available here
  8. United Nations Development Programme. International Human Development Indicators - UNDP. 2010. http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/YEM.html (accessed March 9, 2011).
  9. Clifton J. and Morales L. (2011), Egyptians', Tunisians' Wellbeing Plummets Despite GDP Gains: Traditional economic indicators paint an incomplete picture of life in these countries, The Gallup Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Full article here
  10. UNDP (2009), Arab Human Development Report: Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries, New York, USA. Full report available here
  11. The OECD Better Life Initiative: Compendium of OECD Better Life Initiatives (2011), OECD, Paris, France. Full report here
  12. The United Nations (2011), List of Least Developed Countries in the world , UN, New York, USA. Full list available here
  13. Schippa C. (2011), The Structures of Peace: translating measurement to progress, ProgBlog - Blogging for progress in society. Full blog post available here
  14. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  15. World Bank Data (2009), World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Full data available here
  16. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  17. USAID (2011), Yemen Gap Analysis, Strategic Planning and Analysis Division, USAID, Washington DC, USA. Full analysis available here
  18. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  19. Mathews D. (1996), A commentary on Yemeni traditional architecture, The British–Yemeni Society, London, England. Full article available here
  20. World Bank Data (2010), World Bank, Washington DC, USA. Full data available here
  21. WHO Global Health Observatory (2009), WHO Representation, Sana’a, Yemen. Full Yemen page here
  22. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  23. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full report available here
  24. United Nations Population Fund (2011), The State of the World's Midwifery report, UNFPA, New York, USA. Full report available here
  25. Whitaker B. (2011), Where the qat is out of the bag, The Guardian, London, United Kingdom. Full article available here
  26. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Government Strategies and Plan, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  27. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Government Strategies and Plan, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  28. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Government Strategies and Plan, Major development challenges, Sana'a, Yemen. Full page available here
  29. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Human Development, Sana’a, Yemen. Full page available here
  30. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (2008), Yemen Country Profile, Washington DC, USA Full profile here
  31. Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Education Report (2008), The Development of Education in the Republic of Yemen, Sana’a, Yemen. Full report available here
  32. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  33. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen, Human Development, Sana’a, Yemen. Full page available here
  34. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  35. World Bank Data (2011). Full Yemen data available here
  36. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  37. Al Tarzi F. (2011), Arab Media Influence Report II, News Group International, UAE. Full report available here
  38. Al Tarzi F. (2011), Arab Media Influence Report II, News Group International, UAE. Full report available here
  39. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  40. Map of Freedom in the World 2011 (2011), The Freedom House – Yemen Country Report, Washington DC, USA. Full report available here
  41. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  42. Amnesty International (2011), Annual Report 2011: the state of the world’s human rights – Yemen special country report, London, United Kingdom. Full report available here
  43. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  44. Map of Freedom in the World 2011 (2011), The Freedom House – Yemen Country Report, Washington DC, USA. Full report available here
  45. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (2008), Yemen Country Profile, Washington DC, USA Full profile here
  46. Manea E. (2010), Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa - A special report on Yemen, The Freedom House, Washington DC, USA. Full report available here
  47. Manea E. (2010), Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa - A special report on Yemen, The Freedom House, Washington DC, USA. Full report available here
  48. Map of Freedom in the World 2011 (2011), The Freedom House – Yemen Country Report, Washington DC, USA. Full report available here
  49. World Bank Data (2011). Full Yemen data available here
  50. Global Peace Index Report (2011), Institute for Economics and Peace, New York, USA. Full report available here
  51. UNDP (2009), Arab Human Development Report: Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries, New York, USA. Full report available here
  52. UNDP (2009), Arab Human Development Report: Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries, New York, USA. Full report available here
  53. Clifton J. and Morales L. (2011), Egyptians', Tunisians' Wellbeing Plummets Despite GDP Gains: Traditional economic indicators paint an incomplete picture of life in these countries, The Gallup Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Full article available here

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