Most Sudanese do not attend school, and girls are under represented in the education system


Regional Ranking:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Rank Country

Fast Facts
Average life satisfaction Population GDP per capita (PPP) GDP (PPP) Political System Freedom House rating 4.3/10 (2009) 40.1 mn (2010 Est.) $2,465 (2010 Est.) $98.9 bn (2010 Est.) Presidential republic, in transition Not Free (2010) Literacy rate (% of adult population) Life Expectancy Business Start-up Costs (% of Gross National Income) 92.9% of people believe society is meritocratic* 79.8% of people feel personal safety* 31.0% of people find others trustworthy* 69% (2008) 58 years (2008) 36.0% (2008) (2009) (2009) (2009)

Sub-Index Rankings

Index Comparisons
(Rank/No of countries)
Legatum Prosperity Index Average Life Satisfaction Ranking Per Capita GDP Ranking WEF Global Competitiveness Index UN Human Development Index Heritage/WSJ Economic Freedom Index TI Corruption Perceptions Index Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index 100/110 100/110 93/110 N/A 150/182 N/A 176/180 146/149

In common with many other countries in the region, Sudan has chronically low rates of school enrolment. Just 39% of eligible children attend primary school, the lowest rate in the world, and only a low 38% go to secondary school. Tertiary enrolment is just 6%, falling outside the bottom 15 countries in the Index. In addition, the country has under representation of girls in primary and secondary education. Just six-in-10* Sudanese are happy with the quality of their schools, and only the same proportion* think that children can learn and grow every day: both results are in the bottom third of the Index. Primary schools have 38 pupils for every teacher, which is also one of the 20 highest levels in the world. Sudanese workers are largely uneducated, with an average of less than one year of secondary education and just four months of tertiary education: both levels are around 90th in the Index.

57 66 71 90 93 94 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 106 107 108 110

Botswana South Africa Namibia Ghana Mali Senegal Tanzania Rwanda Uganda Sudan Zambia Cameroon Mozambique Kenya Nigeria Ethiopia Central African Republic Zimbabwe

Sudan’s citizens are among the least healthy in the world


Sudan’s economy is unstable, but expectations for the future are very high


Sudan’s inflation rate is 14%, which is one of the 25 highest levels in the world**, indicating significant macroeconomic instability, although gross domestic saving rates are a healthy 24% of GDP, which is above the global average. Although the official unemployment rate is 19%, one of the 15 highest rates in the world, over half* of Sudanese responding to a 2009 survey said they were in some form of work, which suggests a large informal economy. Sudan is in the bottom third* of the Index in terms of the availability of food and shelter. Perhaps surprisingly, 65%* of people are happy with their living standards, and nearly a third* think that the local job market is good, results which are in line with the global average. Furthermore, the Sudanese are the eighth most* optimistic that the economy will improve. Between 2004 and 2008, Sudan’s GDP per capita grew at a brisk average of 5.9% annually: although such fast growth will tend to improve living standards, it can also place stress on the fabric of society. Sudan’s market is valued at roughly 34 billion USD, the 63rd largest in the Index, and levels of physical capital per worker are among the 20 lowest overall. The country also has no high-tech exports. However, Sudan does succeed in attracting significant foreign direct investment, ranking the country 40th on this measure. Sudanese banks hold an average of 22% in bad loans, which is one of the 10 highest rates of default in the world. Nevertheless, two-thirds* of Sudanese express confidence in their financial institutions, which is above the global average.

Sudan’s levels of basic health are very poor by global standards. Infant mortality is high at 6.9%, which is among the 10 worst levels globally, and over one in every five people is malnourished. Life expectancy, when adjusted for healthy years lived, is just 49 years, which is among the 20 lowest overall. Only around eight out of 10 children are immunised for measles and other infectious diseases, which is also in the bottom 25 nations. Sudan spends just $65 (PPP) per capita on healthcare each year, the fifth lowest level in the world. Health infrastructure is, accordingly, underdeveloped: the availability of hospital beds is 99th in the Index, and just 35% of people have access to improved sanitation. Furthermore, less than six-in-10* people are happy with their water quality, which is one of the 20 lowest rates of satisfaction. The incidence of tuberculosis and the rate of death from respiratory disease are both relatively high. Nevertheless, a surprisingly high 78%* of Sudanese are satisfied with their health, which perhaps reflects very low expectations. In addition, less than a quarter* of people suffer from worry, which is one of the 20 most favourable rates overall. However, the number of people who describe themselves as well-rested is low* by global standards, and nearly a third* of Sudanese have a debilitating health problem, which is one of the 15 highest rates. Only six-in-10* people were happy with their physical surroundings, which is well below global averages.

Safety & Security
High levels of crime, civil strife, and political terror make Sudan a deeply unstable country


Entrepreneurship & Opportunity
Economic opportunity and access to technology in Sudan is confined to the elite


Sudan faces massive problems related to refugees and internally displaced persons, groups with a history of discrimination, and demographic instability resulting from border disputes, ownership or occupancy of land, access to transportation outlets, control of religious or historical sites, or proximity to environmental hazards. Levels of state-sponsored violence are among the highest in the world. There were also numerous reports of civilian deaths from civil strife in 2008. It is unsurprising, therefore, that Sudan has the second highest rate of human flight in the world, as many professionals seek a better life elsewhere. Levels of personal security are scarcely better: 12%* of respondents had been assaulted in the last 12 months, and 23%* had suffered theft, levels which place the country 85th and 90th in the Index, respectively. Nevertheless, 80%* of Sudanese claim to feel safe walking down the street at night, one of the 20 highest rates of confidence overall. Despite the many dangers they face, the Sudanese are still close to the global average* in their willingness to express their political views openly.

There is very little economic innovation in Sudan. R&D expenditure is just 0.4% of GDP, which is among the bottom 35 nations, and there are practically no ICT exports. Although nearly three-quarters* of Sudanese think that their local area is a good place to start a business, formal entrepreneurship is stifled by high start-up costs of 36% of GNI per capita. In addition, the strength of technological infrastructure for entrepreneurship is extremely poor: levels of internet bandwidth are below the global average, mobile phone ownership is among the bottom 10 nations, and there are virtually no secure internet servers. Uneven economic development across different socio-economic groups in Sudan is the second most prevalent on the Index. Despite this, 93%* of people, the 16th highest proportion in the world, think that they can get ahead by working hard. There are no data available for royalty receipts.

Personal Freedom
The Sudanese have very few civil liberties, but are surprisingly satisfied with their lives


Sudan has the lowest level of civil liberties, such as freedom of expression, belief, association, and personal autonomy, in the entire Index. Despite this, seven-in-10* people are content with their freedom to choose in life, which is only slightly below the global average. Levels of tolerance for outsiders are around global averages: 68%* of Sudanese think their neighbourhood is a good place for immigrants to live, while 65%* say that it welcomes ethnic and racial minorities.

Although Sudan’s government is highly autocratic, its people are ready to voice their concerns


Social Capital
Sudanese society is united in adversity, with remarkably strong family and community networks


Sudan is a highly autocratic and unstable state, with less than five years since the last change in regime. There is virtually no competition for legislative or executive power, no independent judiciary, and no constraints on the authority of those in power. The bureaucracy is one of the world’s three least effective at implementing government policy. Despite these failings, an above-average 57%* of Sudanese support their government. Further, nearly half* approve of the country’s efforts to address poverty and preserve the environment. Public perception of corruption in government and business is also 35th lowest* in the world. However, Sudan places third from bottom for enforcing the rule of law and the fifth worst at regulating the business sector. The Sudanese have above average confidence in their civil institutions: roughly threequarters* of the population support the military and the judiciary. Although citizens of Sudan have almost no political rights, an extremely high 39%* had voiced their opinion to an official in the past month, the highest proportion in the world. Just over 40%* have confidence in the honesty of the electoral process, which is a low figure by global standards.

Sudanese society is remarkably cohesive, given the many challenges it faces. Three out of 10* people say that others can be trusted, which is one of the top 25 levels overall. One-in-five* people had volunteered in the past year, and a quarter* had donated to charity, which is around the global average. In addition, seven out of 10* people had helped a stranger, the highest proportion in the entire Index. The Sudanese also have access to good personal networks. Although marriage rates are slightly below average*, indicating weak access to family support networks, levels of religious attendance are the 15th highest* in the world highlighting strong access to religious support networks. More than 90%* of people say that they have family or friends to help them in times of need, which is one of the top 40 rates overall.


*Data taken from the Gallup World Poll ** The terms 'international', 'global', or 'world' are used to reference the 110 Prosperity Index countries, which represent approximately 93% of the world’s population and 97% of global GDP.


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