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Russia Bounces Back on Human Development

Russia ranked 65th among 169 countries, beating Kazakhstan but losing to Albania, in a UN human development report consisting of data on life expectancy, standard of living and other factors.

“Extremely high male adult mortality is probably one of the main barriers to human development,” Vladimir Echenique, deputy dean of the economics department at Moscow State University, said at Tuesday's presentation of the Russian edition of the report by the United Nations Development Program.

Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of male mortality, said Echenique, one of the authors of the 20th anniversary report titled, “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development.”

At 65th place, Russia repeated its 2006 result after dropping to 71st place in the rating last year.

Norway was ranked No. 1 in the report, while Zimbabwe came in last at 169th.

Russia also has a poor record on safety and public perception of safety, with murders accounting for 14.2 percent of all deaths in the country, compared with 5.2 percent in the United States.

Only 31 percent of Russians surveyed for the report said they “feel safe walking alone at night.” Leading on this criteria is Singapore, where 98 percent of the populace felt safe outdoors. The United States was second with 75 percent.

Russia scored only 5.9 out of 10 on the life satisfaction scale, a rating that was topped by Norway, Australia and then the United States.

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