Langston Week 1 Activity Post

The country I am going to be writing about for the remainder of the semester leading up to the final is Madagascar. Madagascar is a small island country off the coast of Eastern Africa. In 2012, Madagascar population was about 22,293, 11,064 of which are individuals under 18 and 3,528 of which are individuals under 5. While digging a little deeper, I was surprised to find out that their annual number of births is around 780 and their average life expectancy at birth change dramatically in 1970 from 44.8 years to 64.3 years in 2012.

There was also a change in GDP from the 1970’s to 2012. In 1970, the GDP per capita for Madagascar was -2.4, which changed to -0.3 in 2012. When reading the section on economic indicators, I was taken aback by two things. The first was the number of people who fall below the poverty line of $1.25 a day, which is 81.3% of the total population. The second was the percent of public spending as a GDP that was specifically for education and health. Only 2.6% of public spending is allocated to health and only 2.8% is allocated to education (which I must say is mind-blowing!

In reading about women and education, I was not surprised to find that women’s literacy rate is lower than that of men in Madagascar (63% for women and almost 66% for men). I was, however, surprised to find that women have a higher net attendance percentage than men in both primary school and secondary school (80% within primary school and 28.2% in secondary school). And to be honest, this surprises me because women fall second to men, as mentioned earlier when it comes to literacy rates.

As far as progress within this country goes, the “under 5 mortality rate has decreased drastically from 162 in 1970 to 58 in 2012. The fertility rate in this country also declined with the increasing years, going from 7.3 in 1970 to 4.5 in 2012. Those two things were the only notable stats from this section.

The last two areas I looked at when researching Madagascar was “Disparities by Residence” and Disparities by Household Wealth”. Looking at disparities by residence first, it is seen that undeerweight prevalence in children under 5 is higher in urban areas (91.7%) than in rural areas (78.3%). This to me is weird because urban areas seem to have a higher rate of improved sanitation facilities than rural areas do. Urban areas also happen to have a higher percentage than rural areas when it comes to females between the ages of 15 and 24 that have comprehensive knowledge of HIV. And there is a dramatic difference in that percentage with 39.7% in urban areas and 18.5% in rural areas. Looking afterward into disparities by household wealth, we see in Madagascar that the underweight prevalence of children under 5 is higher within the poorest 20% of the country (40%) than in the richest 20% of the country (24%). It was also brought to my attention that the comprehensive knowledge of HIV for both male and females are higher within the richest 20% of the country than the poorest 20%, which is not surprising at all. The last statistic I was intrigued by was the fact that primary school net attendance for the richest 20% of the country was at an alarming 95.5%, while the poorest 20% was at 59.2. Again, it isnt surorisuing, but to know that even in this poor country, 95.5% of the richest 20% are going to school is amazing.


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