Macedonia – also known as the Republic of Macedonia – is located in the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Macedonia declared independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has a population of 2,100,025. The country has made process in improving its economy and business environment; however, corruption and weak rule of law are still problems in Macedonia. According to the CIA, some businesses in Macedonia have complained about unequal enforcement of the law. Here are 10 facts about the poverty rate in Macedonia:
- The unemployment rate in Macedonia was 23.1 percent in 2016, which had decreased from 24.6 percent in 2015. Macedonia was ranked 181 on the unemployment rate list comparing other countries around the world.
- According to the CIA, the unemployment rate may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be between 20 percent and 45 percent of the GDP. This part of the data was not captured by official statistics.
- About 21.5 percent of Macedonia’s population is below the poverty line, which means more than 450,000 Macedonia citizens are suffering from poverty.
- About 9.1 percent of Macedonia citizens live on less than two dollars every day, and in the past 15 years, a total of 600,000 citizens have chosen to emigrate.
- The richest 10 percent of the population in Macedonia control 34.5 percent of the whole country’s wealth, while the poorest 10 percent of the population only control 2.2 percent of the whole nation’s wealth.
- Macedonia’s low tax rates and free economic zones help to attract foreign investment; however, foreign investment is still low relative to the rest of Europe.
- Macedonia’s GDP was $29.52 billion in 2016, which was ranked 131 on the GDP list compared to other countries around the world. However, according to the CIA, Macedonia has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in the data.
- Macedonia’s economy has been affected by its internal political crisis. Macedonia’s GDP growth was 2.4 percent in 2016, while it was 3.8 percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2014. In addition, both private and public investments have declined in the past year.
- The inflation rate was negative 0.2 percent in 2016, which was ranked 28 on the list compared to other countries around the world.
- In 2016, Macedonia issued a Eurobond worth about $495 million to finance budget needs of 2016 and part of 2017.
Macedonia has been making progress to create a better business environment. However, due to internal conflicts such as corruption and political problems, Macedonia has consistently missed its fiscal targets in the past few years. As a result, the poverty rate in Macedonia is still high. Reducing the unemployment rate and increasing foreign investment are the two major things that Macedonia needs to focus on in order to reduce the poverty rate in the coming years.
– Mike Liu