After the liberation from South Africa in 1990, an
equality policy was introduced, but Namibia is still one of
the world's most unequal countries in terms of income
distribution. Particularly large is the difference between
those living in the capital Windhoek and the population of
Ovamboland in the north. Poverty has fallen sharply in
recent years. In 2010, 24 percent of the population lived
below US $ 1.25 a day. At the same time, the richest tenth
of the population controlled more than half of the country's
About 1/3 of the population is in need of food
assistance. However, most (90 percent) have access to clean
water. In the United Nations Development Index (HDI) 2014,
Namibia is ranked 126 out of 188 countries and is thus
estimated to have achieved medium-high development.
Namibia has been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic,
just like most other countries in southern Africa; 13
percent of the population aged 15–49 are estimated to be
infected (2009). Nevertheless, the average life expectancy
is clearly higher than in other countries in the region.
Several other social indicators also show that the country
is better than the averages that apply to developing
countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Qualified help is available in just over 80 percent of
births. Maternal mortality is estimated at 130 per 100,000
births and the number of births per woman is 3.1 (2012). Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of NAM and acronym for Namibia.
In addition to education, health care is the largest item
in public spending: 12 percent (2009). There are 27 hospital
beds (2009) and four doctors (2007) per 10,000 residents,
which is high figures for the region.