- The current economic expansion began when the government got control over the national oil company in the first quarter of 2003. Since then, real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has nearly doubled, growing by 94.7 percent in 5.25 years, or 13.5 percent annually.
- Most of this growth has been in the non-oil sector of the economy, and the private sector has grown faster than the public sector.
- During the current economic expansion, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half, from 54 percent of households in the first half of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even more, by 72 percent. These poverty rates measure only cash income, and do not take into account increased access to health care or education.
- Over the entire decade, the percentage of households in poverty has been reduced by 39 percent, and extreme poverty by more than half.
- There have been substantial gains in education, especially higher education, where gross enrollment rates more than doubled from 1999-2000 to 2007-2008.
- Over the past decade, the number of social security beneficiaries has more than doubled.
- Real (inflation-adjusted) social spending per person more than tripled from 1998-2006.
Yep, you got it. It’s the one that gets all the bad press up North. You’ll find all the details right here in this brand new PDF report by the CEPR. Well worth getting yourself a copy, if only to balance the debate a little.