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Monday, October 27, 2003
Iraq: Broken Even Before the War

By Steven Taylor @ 8:37 pm

Ana Palacio, Foreign Minister of Spain, has an interesting piece in the dead tree version of the WSJ. She start with two key stats:

  • Twenty-five years ago, Iraq’s per capita income was $3600, roughly the same as Spain’s at the time.,
  • From 1980 to 2001, Iraq tumbled 50 slots in the UN"s Human Development Index.

    As she writes:

    A country boasting a wealth of natural and human resources has fallen into ruin because of decades of pillaging and misgovernment.

    Hence, it is hardly surprising that much of the coutnry’s infrastructure is in disrepair. It is remarkable to reflect on the spending that Saddam lavished on himself (think: palaces, for one example) and how little was spent on the Iraqi people.

    Some telling stats from the CIA World Factbook:

  • Infant mortality rate:
    total: 55.16 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 48.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
    male: 61.09 deaths/1,000 live births

  • Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 67.81 years
    male: 66.7 years
    female: 68.99 years (2003 est.)

  • Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 40.4%
    male: 55.9%
    female: 24.4% (2003 est.)

  • GDP - per capita:
    purchasing power parity - $2,400 (2002 est.)

  • Radio broadcast stations:
    AM 19 (5 are inactive), FM 51, shortwave 4 (1998)

  • Television broadcast stations:
    13 (1997); note - unknown number were destroyed during the March-April 2003 war

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
    1 (2000)
    Internet users:
    12,500 (2001)

  • Filed under: Iraq
    • OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY linked with BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS DUBYA'S FAULT?

    Click here to go to the main page.

    2 Comments»

    1. Oh, and see this Politech Post from July. Pretty much sums up my feelings. I have some hacker friends who do the same in the US. The story is always the same. Anyone who wanted to could. Question is, why aren’t they?

      And why are we so scared?

      Comment by JC — Monday, October 27, 2003 @ 9:59 pm

    2. Whoops. Wrong post. Sorry.

      Comment by JC — Monday, October 27, 2003 @ 10:00 pm

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