Wealth, no matter how much or little of it you have, is important, but does not mean everything. Not everything can be expressed in money. We will give you two examples.

factor en lakeofservicesExample: you earn enough money to get by, but your child becomes seriously ill and there are no hospitals within a 100 kilometre radius. Just money will not help you.

Another example: You are a smart girl, but your brother can go to school while you cannot. Your education stops before primary school and, without school diplomas, you can only work as a cleaner.

Wealth, the situation in which you want for nothing and are satisfied with your situation, has been measured by the United States since 1993, using the Human Development Index (HDI).

The HDI measures three factors:
* Standard of living (GNP per person, compared to purchasing power. See also: step 1.)
* Public health (life expectancy at birth)
* Knowledge (literacy and how much of the population finishes primary, secondary, and tertiary education)

The HDI is a number between 0 and 1. These three factors each get a grade and the HDI is the average of those three grades.
A 1 means perfect living conditions, but no country in the world is perfect.

The country with the highest grade is Norway (0.949). The lowest grade was given to the Central African Republic (0.352). Below, we will compare two countries: The Netherlands (seventh place with HDI 0.924) and Nigeria (152th place with HDI 0.527). They will first be compared on healthcare. In step 4, they will be compared on knowledge.

Healthcaregezondheidszrog nigeria

Netherlands Nigeria
Number of citizens 17,000,000 186,000,000
Healthcare in % of the GNP 9.5% 0.9%
Number of doctors per 1000 people 3.1 0.28
Number of hospital beds per 1000 people 4.7 1.67
Infant mortality (0-1 years old) per 1000 births 3.2 69.4
Child mortality < 5 years old per 1000 births 3.8 108.8
Maternal death per 100,000 births 7.0 814
Number of children vaccinated against measles  96% 51%
Number of people with HIV/AIDS 23,000 3,200,000
Number of people with malaria 0 > 100,000.000  
Number of people with tuberculosis 800-900 > 400,000
Life expectancy at birth 81.7 year 53.1 year

As you can see in the table, the healthcare situation is very dissimilar in these two countries.

Nigeria spends much less money on healthcare than the Netherlands. Almost 10% of the GNP (all the money that is made in a country) goes to healthcare in the Netherlands, while less than 1% of the GNP is spent on healthcare in Nigeria.

Nigeria has one doctor for every 3571 people, while the Netherlands has a doctor per 322 people. In the Netherlands, there are ten times as many doctors as in Nigeria, relatively speaking. The sad thing is that a quarter of all Nigerian doctors have moved to the US because they can make more money there.

The consequences can also be found in the table: child and maternal mortality in Nigeria are very high, in the top 10 in the world. People also get sick more often in Nigeria than in the Netherlands. One in sixty Nigerians has HIV/AIDS and one in two Nigerians has malaria. It makes sense that many people want to migrate to a country with better resources.

3) Look at the table and then answer this question: How can you explain that the life expectancy in Nigeria is almost 30 years lower than in the Netherlands
4) In many lower-income countries, including Nigeria, you can see ‘brain drain’. What do you think is meant by this term?