You would think from all the press they get, and all the special treatment from the UN and donor countries, that the Palestinians were among the poorest people in the world, with short life spans and extreme poverty. But as an examination of the actual statistics (taken from the CIA’s World Fact Book), as the blog FirstOneThrough shows, the Palestinians are a lot better off than many, including many among their Arab brethren:
- Population Growth rate: Gaza (#13) and the West Bank (52) have among the highest population growth rates in the world. (snip)
- Birth rate: Gaza (#35) and West Bank (67) are much higher than many Arab and Muslim countries: Yemen (#39), Jordan (53), Tunisia (112) and Turkey (114)
- Death rate: Palestinians have the lowest death rates in the world Gaza (#220) and West Bank (#215). Jordan ranks 212, Tunisia 167, Turkey 162 and Yemen 153.
- Net Migration: Compared to the world and the volatile Middle East, West Bank (#84) and Gaza (#108) are fairly stable, compared to Jordan (5), Yemen (37), Turkey (71) and Tunisia (161).
- Life expectancy at birth: West Bank (#91) and Gaza (#109) have higher life expectancies than Jordan (#117), Turkey (124) and Yemen (175) and about the same as Tunisia (92).
- Infant Mortality: Palestinian Arabs have much lower infant mortality rates with Gaza (#105) and West Bank (#117) much lower than Yemen (38), Tunisia (78), Turkey (84) and Jordan (104).
- Unemployment: the Arabs in West Bank (#169) and Gaza (170) have high unemployment for people aged 15-24, as it has one of the highest percentages of its population under 20 years old, like Yemen. Turkey ranks #101, Jordan 133, Tunisia 151 and Yemen ranks 188.
- Literacy rate: Gaza (96.4%) and the West Bank (95.6%) compare very favorably to other countries including Jordan (93.4%), Tunisia (88.3%) and Yemen (63.9%), while lower than Turkey (98.8%).
Maybe it is time for Turkey to take care of its own.