Human Development Report 2014: Montegro ranks 51st out of 187 countries

24 Jul 2014


Human Development Report 2014: Progress slowed by social exclusion and environmental vulnerabilities in developing countries of Europe & Central Asia
Vulnerability to socioeconomic and environmental risks continue to affect region

Tokyo, 24 July 2014 — Human development progress in developing countries of Europe & Central Asia has slowed, and the region continues to face significant socioeconomic and environmental challenges, according to the 2014 Human Development Report released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

However, the report also reveals that the countries in this region enjoy relatively high equality of education, health and living standards.

Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report, released in Tokyo today by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Human Development Report Office Director Khalid Malik, provides a human development perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

After the global launch in Tokyo, Montenegro will have the privilege to host regional presentation of the Report, which will be held in Podgorica in the first half of September. On this occasion data from the Report will be presented and analyzed in detail, with special focus on Europe and Central Asia region, which includes 17 countries***. The highest human development index in this region is recorded for Montenegro (0.789), which places it in the category of countries with high human development, i.e. on the 51st place among 187 countries in total. Regional launch of the report will be an excellent opportunity for Montenegro to welcome UNDP high officials, human development experts, representatives of academia, civil society, as well as representatives of local and international media. Note: media will be informed about this event in due time.  

About the Report:

The report analyzes life cycle vulnerabilities and identifies moments in life (e.g., early childhood, old age) in which shocks can have greater impact. It also explores structural vulnerabilities – those that persist and compound over time as a result of discrimination and institutional failings to the disadvantage of groups such as ethnic minorities, the disabled and the long-term unemployed.

Social exclusion and structural vulnerabilities remain a challenge for Europe and Central Asia. Many developing countries in the region report low access to social services and social protection. Ethnic minorities like the Roma, as well as people with disabilities, the long-term unemployed, migrants, and residents of isolated rural and mountainous areas are especially vulnerable to development setbacks.

Because of its geography, the region is also vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods that have hit the region on several occasions in the past few years. This region is also vulnerable to the risk of earthquakes. A large earthquake in or near a major population centre could result in a humanitarian disaster, damage to regional infrastructure, significant refugee flows, and increased strain on often limited state capacity and social cohesion. Forecasts point to significant climate risks, ranging from threats of drought in Central Asia and the Caucasus, to increased risks of flooding in coastal areas in the Adriatic, Black, and Caspian Sea basins. As the report points out, those suffering from social exclusion tend to be the most vulnerable to these events when they occur.

“In middle-income countries, progress in sustainable development and poverty reduction requires reductions in inequalities, vulnerabilities, and exclusion, as well as better management of disaster and climate risks”, noted Cihan Sultanoglu, director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS. “This is particularly the case for the developing economies of Europe and Central Asia—many of which are still struggling to recover from the global financial crisis.”

Human Development Report 2014 provides an overview of Human Development Index (HDI) values and rankings for 187 countries and UN-recognized territories, while countries are grouped in four categories: very high, high, medium and low human development. Overall, the region comes second in the Human Development Index (HDI) rankings among developing regions, behind Latin America and the Caribbean. It surpasses world averages in life expectancy and mean years of schooling, but trails slightly in gross national income per capita. The region’s highest HDIs are reported for Montenegro and Belarus (ranked 51st and 53rd, respectively), while the lowest HDIs are for the Kyrgyz Republic (125th) and Tajikistan (133rd). When it comes to the Western Balkans region, countries that fall into the group of high human development are Serbia (77th place), FYR Macedonia (84th), Bosnia and Herzegovina (86th) and Albania (95th), while countries with very high human development are Slovenia (25th) and Croatia (47th).  

Europe and Central Asia compare favourably with other developing regions in inequality rankings as well, registering a below-average drop in human development values when adjusted for inequality. When measured by Gini coefficients, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia shows the highest income inequality, while Ukraine shows the lowest.

The 2014 Human Development Report calls for a commitment to full employment as a policy goal, the universal provision of basic social services, strengthened social protection, and better global coordination in shoring up resilience to vulnerabilities that are increasingly global in origin and impact. This report comes at a critical time for global development, as attention turns to the creation of a new post-2015 development agenda.
***In the context of HDI calculations, Europe and Central Asia region includes 17 countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

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ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2014 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices, please visit:     

Full press package available at:

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