Moldova loses more than 10.4% of its human development due to inequalities

Posted December 9, 2019

Republic of Moldova ranks 107 out of 189 countries and territories as per the Human Development Index (HDI) which measures national progress in health, education and income and is annually published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its Human Development Reports. The 2019 Human Development Report (HDR) is titled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century, and presents new approaches to measuring development progress beyond economic growth alone.

Moldova’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.711, which puts the country in the high human development category. From the Europe and Central Asia region, countries which are close to Moldova in 2018 HDI rank and in population size, are Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

However, Moldova lost 10.4% of human development progress due to persisting inequalities. The breadth (intensity) of deprivation in Moldova is 37.4 percent, which is the average deprivation score of people experiencing multidimensional poverty. Income poverty only tells part of the story. The multidimensional poverty headcount in Moldova is 0.8 percentage points higher than income poverty. This implies that individuals living above the income poverty line may still suffer multiple deprivations in health, education and/or standards of living. In Moldova, within an existing UN joint project implemented with the National Bureau of Statistics, UNDP is working on the development of a multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to be released in early 2020.

Just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing, new forms of inequalities are emerging, caused by uneven access to education, health service and technology, and exacerbated by the climate crisis among poorer and more vulnerable groups of population.

Non-income inequalities and new forms of inequalities might undermine the achievements in sustainable development of the country. In particular, in the urban context and growing urban population, the risks of food and energy poverty are very high. UNDP is currently working on using available evidence to understand these challenges and identify areas for future interventions.

“This is the new face of inequality, and as this Human Development Report sets out, inequality is not beyond solutions,” says UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.

The report takes the study of socioeconomic inequalities further by analyzing them in three dimensions – beyond income, beyond averages, and beyond today – and proposes a menu of policy options to tackle them.

The recent analytical work commissioned by UNDP Moldova contains several policy recommendations for tackling existing and potential new forms of inequalities, in particular:

  • Incorporate the objective of reducing inequalities in the existing policy framework in areas of social protection, inclusion, non-discrimination, business development, health, education, mobility, etc.;
  • Support development and implementation of policies of social inclusion and economic growth (incl. local economic growth), without increasing the fees and income taxes; support policies to reduce or minimize territorial disparities and inequalities;
  • Anticipate and develop scenarios for fighting emerging forms of inequalities, in particular in urban contexts, driven by food and energy poverty;
  • Ensure the principle of equity and equality for all in the strategies and programs of life-long learning, and promote the access to education without any discriminations;
  • Develop policies to foster increased access to vocational educational programmes and requalification, and validation of previous studies particularly for the socially vulnerable groups; develop targeted policies for the inclusion of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training);
  • Carry out the reform of the hospital service with the regionalization of specialised services.

Contact for mass-media: Laura Bohantova, Communications Analyst, tel +373 685 11 883, E-mail:


Access 2019 HDR Broadcast Package.

Download here the Briefing Note on the Republic of Moldova.