The Human Truth Foundation

Afghanistan (Islamic State of Afghanistan)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#afghanistan #atheism

Afghanistan
Islamic State of Afghanistan
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index189th best
CapitalKabul
Land Area 652 230km21
LocationAsia
Population37.2m2
Life Expectancy60.70yrs (2017)3
GNI$1 871 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesAF, AFG, 45
Internet Domain.af6
CurrencyAfghani (AFN)7
Telephone+938

1. Overview

#afghanistan #buddhism

Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverA battered, but beautiful and proud country, Afghanistan´s road to recovery remains uncertain, yet the resilience of its people and beauty of its landscapes endures. [...] Throughout its history, Afghanistan has been a country united against invaders but divided against itself. ... Its allure, spread by Great Game romantics and travel literature alike, has only been heightened by its inaccessibility over the last 30 years. ... Old Silk Road oases recall a rich history of Buddhist and Islamic empires, while the mightily rugged Hindu Kush Mountains that bisect the country are as beautiful as Afghan hospitality is famously warm. [...] For hardy travellers with a taste for adventures, these charms still beckon.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Afghanistan National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
166Togo166
167Benin167
168Yemen168
169Afghanistan169
170Malawi170
171Ivory Coast171
172Djibouti172
173Gambia173
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
167Chad$1 991
168Benin$1 979
169S. Sudan$1 882
170Afghanistan$1 871
171Uganda$1 670
172Haiti$1 657
173Rwanda$1 617
174Zimbabwe$1 588
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
186Micronesia125.3
187Palau125.9
188Chad127.0
189Afghanistan128.1
190Equatorial Guinea128.1
191Central African Rep.128.3
192Angola128.9
193S. Sudan133.4
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Afghanistan's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Afghanistan's population is predicted to rise to 53.27 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 6.03. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
35Sudan41.8m
36Iraq38.4m
37Poland37.9m
38Afghanistan37.2m
39Canada37.1m
40Morocco36.0m
41Saudi Arabia33.7m
42Uzbekistan32.5m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
162Ghana61.53
163Liberia61.19
164Zambia60.82
165Afghanistan60.70
166Gambia60.46
167Togo60.18
168Benin59.76
169Guinea59.22
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
173Uganda5.95
174Malawi5.98
175Timor-Leste (E. Timor)5.99
176Afghanistan6.03
177Mali6.16
178Zambia6.30
179Somalia6.30
180Niger6.96
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
7Eritrea04.9
8Gambia04.9
9Angola05.0
10Afghanistan05.0
11Zimbabwe05.0
12Nigeria05.1
13Qatar05.1
14Somalia05.4
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
175Solomon Islands0.4%
176Papua New Guinea0.4%
177India0.4%
178Afghanistan0.4%
179Haiti0.4%
180Brazil0.4%
181Eritrea0.3%
182Somalia0.3%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
77Kuwait8.5%
78Ecuador8.3%
79Poland8.3%
80Afghanistan8.1%
81Paraguay7.9%
82Russia7.9%
83Mali7.6%
84UK7.5%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#Afghanistan #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Afghanistan is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Afghanistan does better than average in speed of uptake of HR treaties19. However Afghanistan performs less well in most areas. It does worse than average in terms of its nominal commitment to Human Rights20, supporting press freedom21 and in LGBT equality22. And finally, it falls into the worst-performing 20 in commentary in Human Rights Watch reports23 and in opposing gender inequality24 (one of the highest in Asia). Kandahar province in particular is noteworthy for the use of truly horrible methods of torture and violence by police officials, and over half of the (many) cases of violence against journalists involve government officials and security staff25.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Afghanistan's Health

#Afghanistan #alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #life_expectancy #longevity #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #vaccines

Health (2020)26,27
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank26,27
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
132Montenegro102.9
133Malawi103.3
134Botswana103.4
135Afghanistan103.5
136Tonga103.6
137Bulgaria104.0
138Syria104.9
139Romania105.1
140Timor-Leste (E. Timor)105.3
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives26. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea26.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe26, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia26.

Health:

Afghanistan is a pretty unhealthy country. Afghanistan comes in the best 20 in its alcohol consumption rate28 and in its smoking rate29 (one of the lowest in Asia). But that's it. Afghanistan has problems. It does worse than average in its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance30 (amongst the highest in Asia), its adolescent birth rate24 (one of the highest in Asia) and in its average life expectancy12 (the worst in Asia). And finally, it falls into the worst-performing 20 when it comes to its fertility rate15 (the highest in Asia) and in its immunizations take-up31 (amongst the lowest in Asia). The number of overweight adults has increased by 14% over the past 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
162Ghana61.53
163Liberia61.19
164Zambia60.82
165Afghanistan60.70
166Gambia60.46
167Togo60.18
168Benin59.76
169Guinea59.22
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)28
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita28
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
4Mauritania0.0
5Somalia0.0
6Yemen0.1
7Afghanistan0.2
8Saudi Arabia0.2
9Syria0.3
10Pakistan0.3
11Kiribati0.4
12Iraq0.4
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
173Uganda5.95
174Malawi5.98
175Timor-Leste (E. Timor)5.99
176Afghanistan6.03
177Mali6.16
178Zambia6.30
179Somalia6.30
180Niger6.96
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)29
Pos.Higher is worse29
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
19Burundi 98
18Trinidad & Tobago 97
17Lesotho 88
16Afghanistan 84
15Nepal 83
14Mozambique 82
13Tonga 81
12Malawi 80
World Avg 819
q=182.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
128Gabon128
129Ivory Coast129
130Mongolia130
131Afghanistan131
132Suriname132
133Grenada133
134Montenegro134
135Iraq135
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)32
Pos.Lower is better
%32
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
9Eritrea22.0
10Burundi22.2
11Uganda22.4
12Afghanistan23.0
13Chad23.1
14Burkina Faso23.2
15Sri Lanka23.3
16Malawi23.4
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)24
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100024
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
138Bolivia70.8
139Nepal71.9
140Cape Verde73.4
141Afghanistan74.0
142Sudan74.0
143Panama74.5
144Ecuador75.9
145Namibia76.8
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)31
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %31
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
176Angola71.9
177Madagascar71.9
178Iraq70.7
179Afghanistan70.6
180Niger69.7
181Samoa68.1
182Yemen67.4
183Papua New Guinea66.3
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Afghanistan's Modernity and Learning

#education #intelligence #it_security #modernity #religion #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)33
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank33
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
163Guinea-Bissau109.3
164Cambodia110.0
165Gambia110.3
166Afghanistan112.5
167Mozambique113.8
168Congo, (Brazzaville)115.8
169Congo, DR116.0
170Lesotho116.7
171Guinea117.5
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Secondary Education (2018)34
Pos.Higher is better34
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
147Benin26.5%
148Sierra Leone26.3%
149Ivory Coast26.1%
150Afghanistan26.1%
151Myanmar (Burma)25.8%
152Central African Rep.22.1%
153Malawi21.8%
154Cambodia21.3%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)35
Pos.Higher is better
Years35
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
164Solomon Islands10.2
165Honduras10.2
166Sierra Leone10.2
167Afghanistan10.1
168Papua New Guinea10.0
169Mozambique9.7
170Nigeria9.7
171Congo, DR9.7
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
156Tanzania156
157Equatorial Guinea157
158Guyana158
159Afghanistan159
160Indonesia160
161Bolivia161
162Iraq162
163Angola163
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Religiosity (2009)36
Pos.Lower is better
%36
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
97Nigeria96
98Cameroon96
99Malaysia96
100Afghanistan97
101Comoros97
102Egypt97
103Morocco97
104Thailand97
World Avg75.1
q=114.
IQ (2006)37
Pos.Higher is better37
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
76Venezuela84
77Colombia84
78Jordan84
79Afghanistan84
80UAE84
81Iran84
82Pakistan84
83Panama84
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)38
Pos.Higher is better38
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
180Congo, (Brazzaville)8%
181Togo7%
182Comoros7%
183Afghanistan7%
184Malawi7%
185Mozambique6%
186Benin6%
187Tanzania5%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IT Security (2013)39
Pos.Lower is better39
1Ireland0.11
2Luxembourg0.11
3Belize0.11
...
63Uganda1.44
64Ukraine1.44
65Nepal1.45
66Afghanistan1.45
67Germany1.46
68Netherlands1.47
69Rwanda1.50
70Tanzania1.50
World Avg0.98
q=81.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
40
Pos.Lower is better40
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
80Suriname66
81S. Korea66.33
82Tanzania69
83Afghanistan69
84Mauritius69
85Belize70
86Nicaragua73.5
87Pakistan75
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)41
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score41
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
169Turkmenistan18.2
170Libya16.8
171Iraq16.6
172S. Sudan13.8
173Sudan12.2
174Afghanistan10.8
175N. Korea08.8
176Somalia08.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)42
Pos.Higher is better42
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
142Angola3.8
143Madagascar3.8
144Zimbabwe3.7
145Afghanistan3.6
146Botswana3.6
147Malawi3.6
148Haiti3.6
149Liberia3.5
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
112Swaziland112
113Argentina113
114Qatar114
115Afghanistan115
116Ivory Coast116
117Panama117
118Colombia118
119Brazil119
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
137Yemen137
138Cambodia138
139Antigua & Barbuda139
140Afghanistan140
141Belize141
142Slovakia142
143Tanzania143
144St Vincent & Grenadines144
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)43
Pos.Lower is better43
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
150Central African Rep.2.87
151N. Korea2.93
152Russia2.94
153Congo, DR3.07
154Iraq3.19
155Sudan3.19
156Afghanistan3.25
157Somalia3.39
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
149Bosnia & Herzegovina149
150Seychelles150
151Sierra Leone151
152Afghanistan152
153Lebanon153
154Liberia154
155Mali155
156Swaziland156
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)30
Pos.Lower is better
Rank30
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
132Azerbaijan132
133Togo133
134St Vincent & Grenadines134
135Afghanistan135
136Trinidad & Tobago136
137Nigeria137
138Cambodia138
139Mali139
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)44
Pos.Lower is better
Score44
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
143Yemen7.26
144India7.52
145Somalia7.80
146Pakistan7.89
147Syria8.01
148Nigeria8.60
149Iraq9.24
150Afghanistan9.60
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)45
Pos.Higher is better
%45
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
78Sweden00.8
79Mongolia00.1
80Japan00.0
81Afghanistan00.0
82Yemen00.0
83Tuvalu00.0
84Libya00.0
85Tonga00.0
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)46
Pos.Higher is better46
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
165Eritrea39.3
166Mauritania39.2
167Benin38.2
168Afghanistan37.7
169Pakistan37.5
170Angola37.4
171Central African Rep.36.4
172Niger35.7
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
183Serbia2002 May 30
184Kuwait2002 Oct 31
185Bosnia & Herzegovina2002 Nov 24
186Afghanistan2002 Dec 18
187Tuvalu2003 Mar 20
188Thailand2004 Jan 29
189Montenegro2006 Jun 03
190Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2007 Jan 08
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)47
Pos.Higher is better
%47
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
114New Zealand24.2%
115Poland23.8%
116Belarus23.7%
117Afghanistan23.6%
118Russia23.5%
119Algeria23.5%
120Pakistan23.2%
121Liberia23.1%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #poverty #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)48
Pos.Higher is worse48
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
160Comoros28.90
159Burundi28.50
158Gambia28.50
157Afghanistan28.30
156Sudan27.40
155Uganda27.20
154Zambia26.50
153Tanzania25.30
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Multidimensional Poverty (2018)49
Pos.Lower is better
Severity49
1Armenia.001
2Ukraine.001
3Serbia.001
...
76Mauritania.261
77Zambia.261
78Uganda.269
79Afghanistan.272
80Tanzania.273
81Sudan.279
82Angola.282
83Gambia.286
World Avg.154
q=101.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion

Religiosity (2009)36
Pos.Lower is better
%36
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
97Nigeria96
98Cameroon96
99Malaysia96
100Afghanistan97
101Comoros97
102Egypt97
103Morocco97
104Thailand97
World Avg75.1
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)50
Pos.Higher is better
%50
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
113Gambia0
114Kenya0
115Ethiopia0
116Afghanistan0
117Egypt0
118Liberia0
119Libya0
120Ivory Coast0
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below51:

Christian0.1%
Muslim99%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated0.1%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states simply: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%52.

When it comes to religious freedom and persecution, sociologists Grim & Finke place Afghanistan into the worst category, along with just 13 other countries. In this category, severe restrictions on religious freedom and freedom of belief stem simultaneously from top-down pressure from government and institutionalized religion, and from bottom-up grassroots movements that often go even further than the government in harrassing those who do not believe the right things (2011)53. The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)54, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Afghanistan states:

The constitution states that Islam is the "religion of the state" and that "no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam." The constitution and other laws and policies restrict freedom of religion or belief and, in practice, the government enforces these restrictions. Afghanistan's constitutional reliance on Sharia mandates the government to punish alleged blasphemers and apostates with sentences as serious as death by hanging. Non-Muslim minority groups, which together constitute approximately 1 percent of the population, are frequent targets of discrimination and persecution. The constitution requires that the president and vice president be Muslim.

Cases of Discrimination

In January 2008, the Afghan Senate supported the death penalty for the 23-year old journalist Sayed Pervez Kambaksh for blasphemy. He downloaded and distributed an article (written by Arash "The Atheist" Bikhoda) that critically discussed certain Qur'an verses about women. In October 2008, Kambaksh's sentence was commuted to 20 years imprisonment. In August 2009, Kambaksh left Afghanistan after a grant of amnesty by President Hamid Karzai.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)55

Links: