Highlights from the State of the Tropics 2014 Report
Nations in the region
Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico (US), Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago
The region has the highest rate of mean years of schooling in the Tropics at 8.3 years and the highest rate of tertiary enrolments. It is one of only three regions where the number of illiterate adults has declined.
Life expectancy at 73 years is second only to Central America across the Tropics.
It rates highest on the ‘Control of Corruption’ indicator and is second only to Oceania with respect to ‘Rule of Law’ with more than half of its nations reporting a positive rating.
The proportion of women in parliaments far exceeds that of the other tropical regions and the Rest of the World with women making up 30.6% of representatives in 2011.
“Services” has increased its contribution to the region’s GDP from 55% in 1980 to 71% in 2010 while both agriculture and industry have declined accordingly.
It is the only region to record a decline in cattle/buffalo numbers and a fall in the cereal yield of 15% between 1980 and 2010. Aquaculture production declined by 7% between 2000 and 2010.
There was a modest decline in the rate of exports as a percentage of GDP, largely affected by Cuban exports falling from 33% of GDP in 1980 to 19% of GDP in 2010.
The decline in the region’s imports as a percentage of GDP was marginal, as reduced imports to Cuba and Barbados more than offset increased imports to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
With the exception of Cuba, unemployment rates are relatively high in all nations in the region.
The number of new cases of TB varies considerably by nation, with regional aggregates dominated by Haiti which accounted for almost 75% of new cases in 2010. The region’s TB mortality rate has fallen by 9% in the 20 years to 2010. The region had the highest incidence rate of dengue.
Maternal mortality rate has declined by 29% since 1990 – the smallest reduction in the Tropics. 6% are attributable to HIV. The region has the second highest prevalence of HIV in the Tropics.
Obesity rates range from 11% in Haiti to 37% in Trinidad & Tobago. The region rate is 23%.
The region had the second lowest increase in CO2 emissions over the period 1950 to 2008 and the second lowest total of emission at 111 million tonnes.
Around 400km2 of reforestation in Cuba in recent years has helped to offset losses in other nations and the region has the third highest proportion of forests reserved for the conservation of biodiversity.
Decrease in mangroves between 1980 and 2005 at less than 2% is lowest in Tropics.
80% of coral cover has been lost between 1977 and 2002 and while some reefs in the region are now recovering, a number are considered beyond recovery.