Areas in Which the United States Is an Underdeveloped Country : Currently, the United States is the only superpower in the world. However, this does not necessarily translate into a high quality of life widespread among its population.
The BBC compiled the results of several studies and the testimony of some experts to present a list of the six indicators of social welfare in which the United States performs well below other developed countries.
According to the latest report of the UN Program on Human Development ( UNDP ), the average life expectancy of Americans is 79.2 years. This places the USA in the 40th place in the world ranking, headed by Japan (83.7 years of life expectancy).
However, among its own population, there is a big gap: the life expectancy of a white man with university studies is 80 years, while an African-American man with less education barely reaches 66 years.
According to Luke Shaefer, professor and director of the Initiative for the Solution of Poverty at the University of Michigan and one of the authors of the study, “the issue in the United State is that welfare is incredibly stratified.”
“The country looks pretty good if you compare the upper reaches of American society with the rest of the rich countries.
The issue is the incredible difference in welfare between the poor and the more resource-rich citizens, “adding that in 2008 the life expectancy of African-American men without higher education was equivalent to the average population of Pakistan, Bhutan or Mongolia.
In 2015, the United States had an infant mortality rate (number of children dying per 1,000 births) of 5.6, placing it in 44th place in the world, behind most of the rich countries and other countries such as Cuba, Bosnia Herzegovina or Croatia.
As in the case of life expectancy, infant mortality is strongly influenced by the wide gap of economic inequality.
In 2012, a UNICEF study found that 23.1% of US children live in households whose income does not exceed 50% of the national average. In this study, the United States was in 34th place out of 35 countries, only surpassing Romania.
According to a study by the Lancet magazine, the maternal mortality rate has been increasing in the United States so far this century. In 2000, for every 1,000 births, there were 17.5 deaths, while in 2017 the rate increased to 26.5.
In other industrialized countries, the trend is downward, as in Japan, whose rate went from 8.8 to 6.4.
In this section, racial segregation is also an important factor, since white women have a rate of 13, while African-American women have a rate of 44 deaths per 1,000 births.
According to the latest report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the United States is ranked number 59, globally, according to the homicide rate, with 4.88 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
In contrast, European countries such as Austria or the Netherlands have rates of 0.51 and 0.61, respectively.
However, in the study conducted by Shaefer, they only took into account the numbers in cities with more than 200 thousand inhabitants and a poverty rate of 25%, raising the homicide rate to 24.4. In comparison, Colombia has a rate of 26.5 and Brazil of 26.74.
In averages, rich countries have a teen pregnancy rate of 11 per thousand women between 15 and 19 years of age, but the US has a rate of 21.
According to a study conducted among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average academic education of Americans is described as “mediocre”.
The study divided the population into three categories: those who did not finish upper secondary studies, those who did finish them and those who have at least two years of higher education. The study evaluated 23 countries, mostly European.
In reading tests, Americans with the upper middle school were below the average, and those with fewer studies were among the worst five places. The most prepared were at a midpoint. The gap between those with more studies and those who have less in the US was the largest among the 23 countries.
In the tests of numerical skills, the Americans were always below the average, having the last place among those who did not accredit the upper middle school and those who did.