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Shrinking Venezuelan human development according to UNDP

Losing income, as well as a drop in life expectancy and literacy made Venezuela go down seven steps in the 2005 Human Development Index disclosed Wednesday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP.)

The HDI is a composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development - a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. This year, the indicator included most data of 2003 on 175 UN member countries, in addition to Hong Kong and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

This year, Venezuela ranked 75, and is among the countries showing "medium" human development, along with other Latin American countries, such as Brazil (63), Colombia (69), or Peru (79), Efe reported.

Argentina (34), Chile (37), Uruguay (46) or Cuba (52) show "high" human development, with Norway top in the list and Niger at the end, for being among the 32 countries with "low" development, including Haiti (153.)

Out of the three major indicators, Venezuelan life expectancy stood at 72.9 years -75.9 for women and 70 for men, as compared to 73.6 in the previous report. The adult literacy rate accounted for 93 percent -a tenth lower- and enrollment in primary, secondary and tertiary educational levels amounted to 75 percent.

Also, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) totaled USD 4,919 as compared to USD 5,380 in the last report.

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